dis·​sent·​er | \di-ˈsen-tər \

Definition of dissenter 

1 : one that dissents

2 capitalized : an English Nonconformist

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Synonyms & Antonyms for dissenter


dissentient, dissident, heresiarch, heretic, nonconformist


conformer, conformist

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Examples of dissenter in a Sentence

a society that prized conformity very highly and treated dissenters of any kind very harshly

Recent Examples on the Web

This has not left much oxygen in the room for dissenters—publicly, at least. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA says it’s building a gateway to the Moon—critics say it’s just a gate," 6 Sep. 2018 The only dissenter in the 2-1 decision in 2016 was Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who President Trump picked Monday to take Justice Anthony Kennedy's spot on the Supreme Court. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: How Brett Kavanaugh could rein in environmental rules on the Supreme Court," 11 July 2018 The lone dissenter was Republican commissioner Chris Monzel. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "Anti-sales tax petition drive gets a surprise guest: Todd Portune," 3 July 2018 The four dissenters were appointed by Democratic presidents. David G. Savage, latimes.com, "Supreme Court deals sharp defeat to public employee unions, banning mandatory fees," 27 June 2018 The only apparent dissenters, Hardee said, are Justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, "High court’s ruling on baker’s refusal to make same-sex wedding cake: mixed," 4 June 2018 In early 2017, Germany opened an investigation of Turkish imams’ alleged spying on political dissenters for the Turkish government. Gerasimos Tsourapas, Washington Post, "How authoritarian regimes use migration to exert ‘soft power’ in foreign policy," 6 July 2018 The vote passed 5-1, with City Council Member Steve Schlack as the only dissenter. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "South Haven bans smoking at public beaches, parks," 3 July 2018 Nomadic, tribal lifestyles meant that rulers had limited means to enforce their will, since dissenters could move elsewhere. The Economist, "From pearls to black goldHow oil transformed the Gulf," 21 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of dissenter

1639, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for dissenter

Last Updated

21 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for dissenter

The first known use of dissenter was in 1639

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Comments on dissenter

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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