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

There have also been reports of dissension among Libra’s backers, with some said to be considering dropping out of the project, or not wanting to be seen publicly backing Facebook’s cryptocurrency efforts. Rex Crum, The Mercury News, "Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency faces being blocked in Europe," 13 Sep. 2019 But the app does raise concerns at least for politicians, such as candidates on the 2020 campaign trail, after the nation's top intelligence officials confirmed last year that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections and will continue to sow dissension. Sarah Min, CBS News, "FaceApp privacy concerns? They're probably overblown," 18 July 2019 Earlier this week, the Justice Department announced that the entire legal team working on the census issue would be swapped out for new lawyers — an indication of the dissension the case has caused. Noah Bierman, latimes.com, "Trump likely to take executive action in census citizenship fight," 11 July 2019 The internal dissension and various controversies reinforced the contentious atmosphere that seems to surround the Times. Paul Farhi, Washington Post, "New York Times demotes editor after Twitter controversy as paper takes fire from left, right and within," 13 Aug. 2019 Sounds like a recipe for dissension, before the first bounce of the ball. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Does Heat schedule still come down to . . . relearning to win at home?," 13 Aug. 2019 In 1935, a panic over disbelievers and dissension provoked arrests and executions of Communist Party élite. Bathsheba Demuth, The New Yorker, "When the Soviet Union Freed the Arctic from Capitalist Slavery," 15 Aug. 2019 The odd squad: All the talk about dissension among House Democrats is a bit overblown. Willie Brown, SFChronicle.com, "The new America: Those who yell loudest win," 13 July 2019 Commission Chairwoman Leslie Campione sought a definitive vote on the statue, which has sparked dissension for more than a year. Stephen Hudak, orlandosentinel.com, "Confederate statue backers win battle in Lake County. Foes dismayed by 3-2 vote.," 30 July 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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Statistics for dissension

Last Updated

22 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for dissension

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

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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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Comments on dissension

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


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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