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

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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 The vote to approve the business plan was 6 to 3, the first time in years that board dissension resulted in a split vote. Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times, "Bullet train contractor warns of further two-year delay as state struggles to secure land," 29 Mar. 2021 What Democrats do not address is how examples of Democratic dissension this week were exacerbated by Biden himself. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Signs of dissension in Democratic ranks could complicate Biden agenda," 25 Mar. 2021 On the question of President Joe Biden's agenda, there's actually more GOP dissension than meets the eye. Rick Klein, ABC News, "GOP finds risky form of unity in opposing COVID relief bill: The Note," 25 Feb. 2021 Democrats can afford little dissension over the minimum wage or anything else in the COVID-19 relief bill. Alan Fram, BostonGlobe.com, "House to vote on COVID-19 relief package Friday," 26 Feb. 2021 Democrats can afford little dissension over the minimum wage or anything else in the COVID-19 relief bill. Alan Fram, chicagotribune.com, "Stimulus check updates: House to vote on $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package; arbiter says minimum wage hike a no-go," 26 Feb. 2021 But to do so, the Cowboys will have to find a reasonable answer at quarterback, improve in a number of other areas, and at least mute the internal dissension. Victor Mather, New York Times, "Even Cowboys Get the Blues," 26 Oct. 2020 His most important creditor was Deutsche Bank, which, during the past decade, had defied internal dissension and extended hundreds of millions of dollars of loans to him. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Financial Troubles May Be Just Beginning," 15 Jan. 2021 Democrats have lapped up the spectacle, delighted in the GOP dissension, and watched Trump use his influence to ruin his legacy and possibly tank an election that has national consequences for the Republican Party. Barnini Chakraborty, Washington Examiner, "Trump, Biden hit Georgia ahead of runoffs, after president's call to Raffensperger emerges," 4 Jan. 2021

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.

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for dissension

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dissension.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissension. Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for dissension



English Language Learners Definition of dissension

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


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

Kids Definition of dissension

: difference in opinion

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