Definition of dissent in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /dəˈsent/


1The expression or holding of opinions at variance with those previously, commonly, or officially held: there was no dissent from this view
More example sentences
  • I have continually argued for France's right to express its dissent from the opinion of the international community.
  • It is at delicate moments in world affairs, such as this, that expressions of widespread dissent from opinion-formers can become a real political force.
  • He pointed out that it was easy to exaggerate the importance of Australian expressions of dissent from Allied plans, and Curtin's messages.
disagreement, difference of opinion, argument, dispute;
disapproval, objection, protest, opposition, defiance;
conflict, friction, strife, infighting
1.1 (also Dissent) Refusal to accept the doctrines of an established or orthodox church; Nonconformity.
Example sentences
  • It called for a new crackdown on doctrinal dissent, and recommended a papal investigation of American seminaries, the subtext of which was to blame gays.
  • That kind of perspective teaches me the need to respect dissent, nonconformity, and liberty of conscience as priority Baptist values.
  • Historians sometimes make the mistake of thinking that early modern religious dissent argues secularization.


[no object]
1Hold or express opinions that are at variance with those previously, commonly, or officially expressed: two members dissented from the majority (as adjective dissenting) there were only a couple of dissenting voices
More example sentences
  • Seven judges expressed a separate opinion, while two dissented from the majority.
  • He tangled with other cardinals and disciplined church officials who dissented from official church policy.
  • Not one Supreme Court justice dissented from the Moyer opinion, which was drafted by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.
1.1Separate from an established or orthodox church because of doctrinal disagreement.
Example sentences
  • Along the way, Fraser reminds us, various sects dissented and established parochial schools.
  • That is, we dissented from somebody else's religion, and we paid the price for it.
  • Baptists dissented from a state religion that claimed the right to determine what should be believed and how belief should be practiced.
differ, disagree, demur, fail to agree, be at variance/odds, take issue;
decline/refuse to support, protest, object, dispute, challenge, quibble


Late Middle English: from Latin dissentire 'differ in sentiment'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dis·sent

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.