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[dih-sent] /dɪˈsɛnt/
verb (used without object)
to differ in sentiment or opinion, especially from the majority; withhold assent; disagree (often followed by from):
Two of the justices dissented from the majority decision.
to disagree with the methods, goals, etc., of a political party or government; take an opposing view.
to disagree with or reject the doctrines or authority of an established church.
difference of sentiment or opinion.
disagreement with the philosophy, methods, goals, etc., of a political party or government.
separation from an established church, especially the Church of England; nonconformity.
Origin of dissent
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English dissenten (< Middle French dissentir) < Latin dissentīre, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + sentīre to feel
Related forms
dissentingly, adverb
nondissenting, adjective, noun
undissenting, adjective
Can be confused
decent, descent, dissent.
4, 6. disagreement, dissatisfaction, opposition. Dissent, dissidence mean disagreement with the majority opinion. Dissent may express either withholding of agreement or open disagreement. Dissidence, formerly much the same as dissent, has come to suggest not only strong dissatisfaction but a determined opposition. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dissent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is but fair that, in a sketch like this, some emphasis should be laid upon their dissent and protests.

    The Long White Cloud William Pember Reeves
  • Roma withdrew her hand from the hand of the Pope and made an exclamation of dissent.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • The two women watched, speechless, but made no sign of dissent.

  • "I ask nothing at all," she said, which was neither assent nor dissent.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • Cosway expressed his dissent from this opinion in the most amiable manner.

    Little Novels Wilkie Collins
British Dictionary definitions for dissent


verb (intransitive)
to have a disagreement or withhold assent
(Christianity) to refuse to conform to the doctrines, beliefs, or practices of an established church, and to adhere to a different system of beliefs and practices
a difference of opinion
(Christianity) separation from an established church; Nonconformism
the voicing of a minority opinion in announcing the decision on a case at law; dissenting judgment
Derived Forms
dissenter, noun
dissenting, adjective
dissentingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin dissentīre to disagree, from dis-1 + sentīre to perceive, feel
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
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Word Origin and History for dissent

early 15c., from Latin dissentire "differ in sentiments, disagree, be at odds, contradict, quarrel," from dis- "differently" (see dis-) + sentire "to feel, think" (see sense (n.)). Related: Dissented; dissenting. The noun is 1580s, from the verb.

Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime. [Jacob Bronowski "Science and Human Values," 1956]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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