a person who dissents, as from an established church, political party, or majority opinion.
(sometimes initial capital letter) an English Protestant who dissents from the Church of England.

Origin of dissenter

First recorded in 1630–40; dissent + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dissenter

Contemporary Examples of dissenter

Historical Examples of dissenter

  • Persecution of a dissenter is always popular in the group which he has abandoned.


    William Graham Sumner

  • The dissenter, who declined to pay church-rates, was an unsocial person.

    The Toilers of the Field

    Richard Jefferies

  • I am a dissenter, and do not wish my boy to subscribe to the school mission.'

    The Longest Journey

    E. M. Forster

  • His mother's a Dissenter, it is true, but the principles of that boy is beautiful.

    The Perpetual Curate

    Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

  • You may be very thankful, in that respect, that you are not a dissenter.

    Phoebe, Junior

    Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

British Dictionary definitions for dissenter



Christianity, mainly British a Nonconformist or a person who refuses to conform to the established church
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dissenter

1630s, in 17c. especially of religions (with a capital D- from 1670s); agent noun from dissent.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper