dispute

verb
dis·​pute | \ di-ˈspyüt How to pronounce dispute (audio) \
disputed; disputing

Definition of dispute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to engage in argument : debate especially : to argue irritably or with irritating persistence

transitive verb

1a : to make the subject of verbal controversy or disputation Legislators hotly disputed the bill.
b : to call into question or cast doubt upon Her honesty was never disputed. The witness disputed the defendant's claim.
2a : to struggle against : oppose disputed the advance of the invaders
b : to contend over disputing ownership of the land

dispute

noun
dis·​pute | \ di-ˈspyüt How to pronounce dispute (audio) , ˈdi-ˌspyüt How to pronounce dispute (audio) \

Definition of dispute (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : verbal controversy : debate a dispute about what to do with the surplus a landlord-tenant dispute legal disputes The matter is still in dispute.
b : quarrel Police were called to a domestic dispute.
2 obsolete : physical combat

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from dispute

Verb

disputable \ di-​ˈspyü-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce disputable (audio) , ˈdi-​spyə-​ \ adjective
disputably \ di-​ˈspyü-​tə-​blē How to pronounce disputably (audio) , ˈdi-​spyə-​ \ adverb
disputer noun

Examples of dispute in a Sentence

Verb

You can dispute your bill if you believe it is inaccurate. These estimates are hotly disputed by scientists. No one ever disputed that it was the right decision. The source of the text has been disputed for centuries. a part of the city where two drug gangs are disputing territory

Noun

They could not settle their dispute. There is a labor dispute between workers and management. The two farmers are involved in a land dispute.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Cronkite's successor, Dan Rather, was forced to leave the broadcast in 2005 over his disputed reporting on former President George W. Bush's military service. Stephen Battaglio, latimes.com, "Norah O'Donnell tries to restore the house that Cronkite built at CBS News," 14 July 2019 Atletico Madrid have released a statement disputing Antoine Griezmann's €120m move to Barcelona, insisting the Blaugrana should pay his full €200m release clause that was active when the Frenchman agreed to his move. SI.com, "Atletico Madrid Disputes Transfer Fee Despite Griezmann's Barcelona Move," 12 July 2019 Initial reports said that Chloe fell out of her grandfather’s arms, but the family is disputing those accounts, the Today Show reported. Claudia Harmata, PEOPLE.com, "Family of Toddler Who Died After Falling from Cruise Ship Allege 'Negligence' Led to Accident," 9 July 2019 In April, Business Insider estimated that MoviePass had lost approximately 90 percent of its user base over the course of a calendar year, though MoviePass disputes these numbers. Jon Porter, The Verge, "MoviePass has shut down for ‘several weeks’ to update its app," 5 July 2019 While the group disputes UMG's claim that the O-Town name was inspired by the Motown record label, contemporary news reports appear to back up UMG. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "O-Town Locked in Trademark Dispute With Universal Music Group," 24 June 2019 Both decisions were mocked and defended, crystallizing just how disputed the terrain of content moderation on platforms has become. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "The ‘Platform’ Excuse Is Dying," 11 June 2019 History: The 9,000-acre Mexican Rancho Jamul land grant of 1829, like many others, was bogged down in disputed land claims that weren’t resolved until 1891. Roger Showley, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Jamul-Rancho San Diego: Historic rancho served as seashell trading post, hosts new casino," 30 June 2019 Eventually, President George Bush pulled out of the agreement in 2003, citing intelligence, since disputed, that North Korea was cheating. NBC News, "Trump's Iran policy is deepening mistrust in North Korea, experts say," 29 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Tokyo, embroiled in disputes with Seoul over historical grievances, last week restricted exports to South Korea of three materials used to make tech components. Eun-young Jeong, WSJ, "Japan’s Restrictions on South Korean Chip Makers Backfire," 11 July 2019 The firm thinks that permanent damage has been done by the recent trade disputes. The Economist, "SlowbalisationMultinational companies are adjusting to shorter supply chains," 11 July 2019 That’s been the status quo for two decades, but the tariff situation is quickly showing how tenuous the situation is, with the ongoing trade dispute potentially driving up costs across the industry and companies having no easy way out. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "HP, Dell, Microsoft, and Amazon look to move some hardware production out of China," 3 July 2019 Music directors generally try to stay above the fray in labor disputes. Michael Cooper, New York Times, "Can Baltimore Save Its World-Class Orchestra?," 1 July 2019 Chief Justice Roberts had long been skeptical of the court’s power to intervene in these political disputes. David G. Savage, latimes.com, "Partisan gerrymandering is upheld by Supreme Court," 27 June 2019 LEGAL Harvard invests in litigation fund Harvard University is committing more capital to a strategy that backs plaintiffs in commercial disputes. BostonGlobe.com, "GE and unions for 6,600 workers reach a deal," 27 June 2019 Not knowing when and how the trade disputes will be resolved creates uncertainty for businesses that is leading to slower global economic growth. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Econometer: Is there an economic argument against Trump that Democrats can make?," 21 June 2019 Virtually no one in criminology disputes the age-crime curve. German Lopez, Vox, "Cory Booker has a plan to reform the criminal justice system — without Congress," 20 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dispute.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of dispute

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dispute

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French desputer, from Latin disputare to discuss, from dis- + putare to think

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dispute

Statistics for dispute

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dispute

The first known use of dispute was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dispute

dispute

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dispute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to say or show that (something) may not be true, correct, or legal
: to argue about (something)
formal : to fight in order to take control of (something)

dispute

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dispute (Entry 2 of 2)

: a disagreement or argument

dispute

verb
dis·​pute | \ di-ˈspyüt How to pronounce dispute (audio) \
disputed; disputing

Kids Definition of dispute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to question or deny the truth or rightness of No one ever disputed the story.
2 : argue sense 1 The boys disputed over who won the race.
3 : to fight over The two nations disputed the territory.

dispute

noun

Kids Definition of dispute (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : debate entry 1 sense 3 It is a fact beyond dispute.

dispute

verb
dis·​pute | \ di-ˈspyüt How to pronounce dispute (audio) \
disputed; disputing

Legal Definition of dispute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to engage in a dispute disputing with management over contract terms

transitive verb

: to engage in a dispute over disputing the correct application of the contract provision especially : to oppose by argument or assertion disputed changes to the grievance procedure

Other Words from dispute

disputable \ di-​ˈspyü-​tə-​bəl, ˈdis-​pyə-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce disputable (audio) \ adjective

dispute

noun

Legal Definition of dispute (Entry 2 of 2)

: an assertion of opposing views or claims : a disagreement as to rights especially : one that is the subject of proceedings for resolution (as arbitration)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dispute

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dispute

Spanish Central: Translation of dispute

Nglish: Translation of dispute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dispute for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dispute

What made you want to look up dispute? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!