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[dis-i-duh nt] /ˈdɪs ɪ dənt/
a person who dissents.
disagreeing or dissenting, as in opinion or attitude:
a ban on dissident magazines.
Origin of dissident
1525-35; < Latin dissident- (stem of dissidēns, present participle of dissidēre to sit apart), equivalent to dis- dis-1 + -sid- (combining form of sed- repair1) + -ent- -ent
Related forms
dissidently, adverb
antidissident, noun, adjective
nondissident, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dissidents
  • dissidents are increasingly vocal, and independent media outlets have proliferated.
  • Police arrested dissidents and monitored contacts with foreigners.
  • Most people think of it as a barren, snowy wasteland, or place of exile for dissidents.
  • Despite the country's tremendous economic growth, the government still maintains strict control over dissidents.
  • But don't expect that to increase the information flow to dissidents.
  • True, surveillance remains widespread, and outspoken dissidents are punished harshly.
  • Much of this relocation was apparently politically inspired, aimed at breaking up groups of potential dissidents.
  • The psychiatric literature is so confusing that even the dissidents disagree.
  • The handful of dissidents still living there are closely watched and periodically detained and interrogated.
  • Soviet-era dissidents were arrested and locked up or exiled.
British Dictionary definitions for dissidents


disagreeing; dissenting
a person who disagrees, esp one who disagrees with the government
Derived Forms
dissidence, noun
dissidently, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin dissidēre to be remote from, from dis-1 + sedēre to sit
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 dissidents



1530s, from Latin dissidentem (nominative dissidens), present participle of dissidere "to be remote; disagree, be removed from," literally "to sit apart," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + sedere "to sit" (see sedentary).


1766, in reference to Protestants, from dissident (adj.). In the political sense first used 1940, coinciding with the rise of 20c. totalitarian systems, especially with reference to the Soviet Union.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dissidents in Culture

dissidents definition

Persons who refuse to conform to prevailing political and social values.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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