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

More than a dozen current and former tenants disputed Sherman’s claims in the letter and spoke during public comment about how they were forced to leave. Sarah Ravani, SFChronicle.com, "Evictions, displacements in Hayward apartment complex weigh on council members," 11 Sep. 2019 As in the past, Intuit disputed the allegations in Friday's lawsuit. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Intuit faces new lawsuit alleging it duped low-income taxpayers to pay for free tax prep," 7 Sep. 2019 The nursing home’s attorneys dispute this, saying there were gaps in the video and investigators could not see the full picture of what was going on. Megan O'matz, sun-sentinel.com, "Inside the Hollywood Hills nursing home: Soaring temperatures, dying patients and a nurse asleep. Where were the people in charge?," 26 Aug. 2019 The vote was bitterly disputed by Republicans, who tried unsuccessfully during the board meeting to challenge the Democrats' move in court, only to be denied by a judge. Detroit Free Press, "Democrat Dave Coulter, mayor of Ferndale, named Oakland County executive," 16 Aug. 2019 Domingo, who currently directs the Los Angeles Opera and is considered to be one of the greatest living opera singers, has disputed the allegations. Dan Singer, Dallas News, "After opera star Plácido Domingo is accused of sexual harassment, D-FW companies respond," 13 Aug. 2019 Forbes has estimated that the family fortune is worth $13 billion, a figure the family has not disputed, but many state attorneys general believe that the family has far more hidden away, as a safeguard against the cascade of litigation. Danny Hakim, New York Times, "New York Uncovers $1 Billion in Sackler Family Wire Transfers," 13 Sep. 2019 There have been several clashes over disputed territorial boundaries and, as rising economic powers governed by different ideologies, India and China continue to battle for regional and international preeminence. Wendy Whitman Cobb, Quartz India, "Glitches aside, the Moon mission may deepen India’s space rivalry with China," 11 Sep. 2019 Apple did not, however, dispute the details of how the campaign worked. Wired, "A Moon Landing Goes Awry, Apple Opens Up on iOS Hacks, and More News," 6 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Paris has also opened a new appeals court to hear disputes in English and to use English practices, a clear nod to those who want to keep doing business the old way. Washington Post, "The Brexit Threat to London’s World-Class Legal Business," 18 Sep. 2019 Initial reports indicated there was some kind of dispute or disturbance at the street level that then continued into the station. Christina Maxouris And Jamiel Lynch, CNN, "One man was arrested in connection to a Seattle shooting that left 1 dead and 2 injured," 17 Sep. 2019 In fact, the site settled a dispute in the preliminary rounds of this year’s contest. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, "Many try, but few finish, the world’s toughest baseball quiz," 17 Sep. 2019 The widow and the lover are drawn into a dispute — with a son torn between the sides. Karen Chu, The Hollywood Reporter, "Oscars: Taiwan Selects ‘Dear Ex’ for International Feature Film Category," 16 Sep. 2019 In recent years, channels and pay systems have thrown subscribers into the middle of disputes by depriving them of channels while urging them to contact their adversaries and complain they’re being either too cheap or too greedy. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, "Worried that ESPN and Disney channels will soon leave DirecTV and U-verse? Here’s what we know," 16 Sep. 2019 Captain John Shannon with the Harris County Sheriff's Department said the investigation of the apparent domestic dispute is ongoing. Alison Medley, Houston Chronicle, "Woman's ex-boyfriend detained after bomb threat at NW Harris County apartment complex," 15 Sep. 2019 Unfortunately for passengers, that is unlikely to bring a swift resolution to BA and Ryanair’s disputes. The Economist, "What lies behind the strike that has grounded British Airways," 12 Sep. 2019 However, it was reported that Brown was involved in a verbal dispute of some kind before the alleged rampage occurred, the chief said. Kc Baker, PEOPLE.com, "Mass Stabbing at Fla. Company Leaves Multiple People Wounded: 'Baby, I've Been Stabbed 5 Times'," 11 Sep. 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

9 Oct 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

a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!