dis·​sen·​sion | \ di-ˈsen(t)-shən How to pronounce dissension (audio) \
variants: or less commonly dissention

Definition of dissension

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

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of dissension in a Sentence

The incident has caused a lot of dissension within the police department. Religious dissension threatened to split the colony.
Recent Examples on the Web British intelligence indicated last week that there is dissension in the ranks as the Russians contend with depleted forces, poor tactical coordination, a lack of unit-level skills and inconsistent air support. Phil Mccausland, NBC News, 6 May 2022 This kind of decay is commonplace in authoritarian states where loyalty is valued over initiative and any kind of dissension is discouraged. Loren Thompson, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 In a separate development, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey criticized the company’s board Saturday in a rare show of public dissension. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 18 Apr. 2022 The moves came as Spotify faced growing dissension among high-profile creators. New York Times, 17 Feb. 2022 The issue has become the center of dissension and chaos in San Dieguito, an affluent North County district of 13,000 middle and high school students. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Apr. 2022 Johnson spoke briefly about the image and perception of The Bronze Fonz, which led to dissension in the Milwaukee Arts scene in 2008. Drake Bentley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Mar. 2022 More difficult to control may be dissension among fig hunters themselves. Jacob Roberts, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Feb. 2022 The rumors of internal dissension have become, if not rampant, at least persistent. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of dissension

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dissension

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

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Time Traveler for dissension

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The first known use of dissension was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dissension.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissension. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for dissension


dis·​sen·​sion | \ di-ˈsen-shən How to pronounce dissension (audio) \

Kids Definition of dissension

: difference in opinion

More from Merriam-Webster on dissension

Nglish: Translation of dissension for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dissension for Arabic Speakers


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