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 Some key senators are beginning to show dissension within their party ranks. Tim Darnell, ajc, "New year, old tune: McConnell, Schumer still at odds over Trump impeachment trial," 3 Jan. 2020 The last 10 years in Wisconsin were defined by politics, and the politics of the last decade have been defined by dissension. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Divisive politics ruled Wisconsin over the last decade," 27 Dec. 2019 In her pitch to voters at the forum, Zoppo-Sassu hinted about the lawsuits, city hall dissension and municipal embarrassments that dogged the last term of her Republican predecessor. Don Stacom, courant.com, "Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu’s pitch to voters: Bristol is going in the right direction," 29 Oct. 2019 There have been telltale signs of dissension between the players and the coach, highlighted by several sideline blowups. cleveland, "Cleveland Browns’ Freddie Kitchens as bad Santa: Crowquill," 25 Dec. 2019 Prince Harry, Meghan and their 7-month-old son, Archie, were nowhere to be seen — an absence that is sure to be parsed by the British tabloids, which are always eager to seize on a hint of dissension among the royals. New York Times, "Queen’s Christmas Message Acknowledges a ‘Bumpy’ Year for U.K.," 24 Dec. 2019 The dissension made Karzai even more suspicious about U.S. motives. Craig Whitlock, Anchorage Daily News, "In confidential documents, U.S. officials said almost everything they did to end opium farming in Afghanistan backfired," 9 Dec. 2019 But there was dissension inside town hall as to the accuracy of the report. Emily Brindley, courant.com, "A ‘disturbing abuse of power’: Fired Simsbury town employee says officials tried to fake reasons for termination," 6 Dec. 2019 One Google employee wrote on Twitter that the company was firing the employees to stamp out internal dissension. Ryan Gallagher, Fortune, "Google Fires 4 Employees for Violating Data Security—But Critics Say It’s Retaliation for Protesting," 26 Nov. 2019

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

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dissension.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissention. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for dissension


How to pronounce dissension (audio)

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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