noun dis·sen·sion \ di-ˈsen(t)-shən \
variants: or less commonly dissention
|Updated on: 30 Jun 2018

Definition of dissension

: disagreement; especially : partisan and contentious quarreling
  • causing dissension within the police department
  • a colony threatened by religious dissension

Examples of dissension in a Sentence

  1. The incident has caused a lot of dissension within the police department.

  2. Religious dissension threatened to split the colony.

Recent Examples of dissension from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of dissension

Middle English, from Anglo-French discension, from Latin dissension-, dissensio, from dissentire — see 1dissent

Synonym Discussion of dissension

discord, strife, conflict, contention, dissension, variance mean a state or condition marked by a lack of agreement or harmony. discord implies an intrinsic or essential lack of harmony producing quarreling, factiousness, or antagonism.
    • a political party long racked by discord
strife emphasizes a struggle for superiority rather than the incongruity or incompatibility of the persons or things involved.
    • during his brief reign the empire was never free of civil strife
conflict usually stresses the action of forces in opposition but in static applications implies an irreconcilability as of duties or desires.
    • the conflict of freedom and responsibility
contention applies to strife or competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy.
    • several points of contention about the new zoning law
dissension implies strife or discord and stresses a division into factions.
    • religious dissension threatened to split the colony
variance implies a clash between persons or things owing to a difference in nature, opinion, or interest.
    • cultural variances that work against a national identity

DISSENSION Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of dissension for English Language Learners

  • : disagreement that causes the people in a group to argue about something that is important to them

DISSENSION Defined for Kids


noun dis·sen·sion \ di-ˈsen-shən \

Definition of dissension for Students

: difference in opinion

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