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 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced skepticism Friday about Sweden and Finland potentially joining the NATO defense alliance, a sign of dissension in efforts to revamp Europe’s security architecture following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. BostonGlobe.com, 13 May 2022 Some expressed outrage over the disclosure of the document, calling it a gross breach of protocol at the court and an attempt to sow dissension within it. Washington Post, 3 May 2022 Young people have been disproportionately engaged in protesting against the Ukraine war, and the state is actively engaged in trying to suppress dissension among youth. Loren Thompson, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 Democrats now find themselves in the awkward position of having a firm sense of their political liabilities but broad dissension about what should be done about them. Byrick Klein,averi Harper, ABC News, 14 Apr. 2022 In a statement, Anthony thanked Nessel's office for their work and condemned persistently violent dissension. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, 15 Mar. 2022 Finally, if Putin’s gambit was intended to sow dissension within the ranks of NATO members, that hasn’t worked, either. Michael A. Cohen, The New Republic, 11 Feb. 2022 Known for dissension in the past, the Police Commission has become more unified under Cohen, Elias said. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 Feb. 2022 Experiencing locker room dissension about Coleman's role with the club, the Suns returned home to lose again, 47-6, to eventual league champions, Tucson. Douglas C. Towne, The Arizona Republic, 29 Apr. 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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The first known use of dissension was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

4 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dissension.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissension. Accessed 5 Jul. 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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