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dis·​con·​tent ˌdis-kən-ˈtent How to pronounce discontent (audio)
: dissatisfied, discontented
voters growing increasingly discontent


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noun (1)

: lack of satisfaction with one's possessions, status, or situation : lack of contentment:
: a sense of grievance : dissatisfaction
the winter of our discontentWilliam Shakespeare
: restless aspiration (see aspiration sense 1a) for improvement


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discontented; discontenting; discontents

transitive verb

: to make dissatisfied or discontented
were discontented by the decision
discontentment noun


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noun (2)

: one who is dissatisfied or discontented : malcontent

Examples of discontent in a Sentence

Adjective Polls show that voters are growing increasingly discontent. a novel about a woman who is desperately discontent with the stifling limitations of her small-town life Verb the ongoing lack of decent food discontented and demoralized the soldiers in the rebel army
Recent Examples on the Web
But many long-time moderators remain discontent, and some of the updates haven't materialized yet. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 4 Sep. 2023 Biden has also grappled with anemic approval and favorability ratings that suggest voters are discontent with both politicians. Fritz Farrow, ABC News, 3 Sep. 2023 Things got so bad that even the national government, which is battling sky-high inflation and an increasingly discontent society, found the time to intervene — only to retreat when its effort was mocked as a waste of government resources. Natalie Alcoba, New York Times, 6 Oct. 2022 Dacus: Mine is that Julien and Phoebe are way more willing to be discontent than me (and express that). Chris Willman, Variety, 3 Apr. 2023 What there is in abundance, though, is discontent not just about the glacial rollout, but a poor communications strategy. William Pesek, Forbes, 16 Apr. 2021 But not everyone was discontent. Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez, Fortune, 27 Sep. 2022 There could already be discontent brewing in Green Bay’s locker room, as Rodgers appeared visibly frustrated with errors that his new receiving corps committed. Catena Media, al, 18 Sep. 2022 There was also discontent with Disney’s content, which seemed to be increasingly liberal on social and cultural issues. Mark I. Pinsky, Variety, 4 Apr. 2022
Job Dissatisfaction: Unhappiness with one's role, heavy workloads, and a lack of career progression or purpose can sow the seeds of discontent. Naz Beheshti, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 The snake of agricultural vehicles converging on Paris on Jan. 26 was just one recent show of discontent. Nayla Razzouk, Fortune Europe, 13 Feb. 2024 Zwick, who also directed films like Glory and The Last Samurai, said that Pitt’s first signs of discontent appeared during a table read. Wesley Stenzel, EW.com, 6 Feb. 2024 Cheap foreign imports have fanned the flames of discontent, with farmers arguing that such products are unfair competition. Sophie Tanno, CNN, 3 Feb. 2024 Autocratic countries, led by Russia and China, have seized on the currents of political discontent to push narratives undermining democratic governance and leadership, often by sponsoring disinformation campaigns. Steven Lee Myers, New York Times, 9 Jan. 2024 These include discontent over underfinanced public health, mounting shortages of tools and equipment due to the tightening sanctions regime, and major dislocations caused by mammoth investment in the defense industry. Alexandra Prokopenko, Foreign Affairs, 8 Jan. 2024 Experts say economic discontent is widespread in Bangladesh, which means Ms. Hasina’s handling of the economy will be key, especially to regain legitimacy among disenchanted voters who skipped the polls. Krutika Pathi, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 Jan. 2024 His return so happens to coincide with reports this week of discontent among the Warriors’ other lottery picks, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, over their uncertain roles. Evan Webeck, The Mercury News, 5 Jan. 2024
As Variety previously reported, several sources say the group, which also include Emma Stone and Ben Affleck, are feeling discontented within the guild ever since talks broke down with the studios. Tatiana Siegel, Variety, 19 Oct. 2023 Hollman's death has contributed to discontent with police among some Atlantans that centers on a proposal to build a large public safety training facility. CBS News, 10 Oct. 2023 On the other hand, though, Peruvians themselves were discontent. Cynthia McClintock, Foreign Affairs, 5 Feb. 2013 Adding to the pressure, Musk already runs several other companies, including Tesla, where investors have grown discontented with his distractions at Twitter. Sarah Ellison, Washington Post, 11 May 2023 Still, there are clear indications that shareholders are increasingly discontented with the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars being siphoned off to the CEOs. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 1 Mar. 2023 While social services are popular, higher taxes are not, and discontent with increases such as the ones Suozzi supported represent an electoral liability for his party. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 12 Dec. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'discontent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (1)

1581, in the meaning defined above


1549, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1598, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of discontent was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near discontent

Cite this Entry

“Discontent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discontent. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 adjective
dis·​con·​tent ˌdis-kən-ˈtent How to pronounce discontent (audio)


2 of 3 verb
: to make discontented


3 of 3 noun
: the condition of being dissatisfied

More from Merriam-Webster on discontent

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