from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To have or express an opinion different from a prevailing or official position; disagree.
  • intransitive verb Law To reach a conclusion contrary to the majority of the judges deciding a case; render a minority opinion.
  • noun Difference of opinion or feeling; disagreement.
  • noun The refusal to conform to the authority or doctrine of an established church; nonconformity.
  • noun Law A judicial opinion reaching a conclusion contrary to that reached by the majority of judges deciding a case; a minority opinion.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of dissenting; a holding or expressing of a different or contrary opinion; refusal to be bound by an opinion or a decision that is contrary to one's own judgment.
  • noun A declaration of disagreement in opinion about something: as, the minority entered their dissent on the records of the house.
  • noun Eccles., refusal to acknowledge or conform to the doctrines, ritual, or government of an established church, particularly in England and Scotland.
  • noun Contrariety of nature; opposite quality.
  • To be of a different or contrary opinion or feeling; withhold approval or assent: with from before the object.
  • Eccles., to refuse to acknowledge, conform to, or be bound by the doctrines or rules of an established church. See dissenter.
  • To differ; be of a different or contrary nature.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of dissenting; difference of opinion; refusal to adopt something proposed; nonagreement, nonconcurrence, or disagreement.
  • noun (Eccl.) Separation from an established church, especially that of England; nonconformity.
  • noun obsolete Contrariety of nature; diversity in quality.
  • intransitive verb To differ in opinion; to be of unlike or contrary sentiment; to disagree; -- followed by from.
  • intransitive verb (Eccl.) To differ from an established church in regard to doctrines, rites, or government.
  • intransitive verb To differ; to be of a contrary nature.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive To disagree; to withhold assent. Construed with from (or, formerly, to).
  • verb intransitive To differ from, especially in opinion, beliefs, etc.
  • noun Disagreement with the ideas, doctrines, decrees, etc. of a political party, government or religion.
  • noun An act of disagreeing with, or deviating from, the views and opinions of those holding authority.
  • noun Anglo-American common law A separate opinion filed in a case by judges who disagree with the outcome of the majority of the court in that case

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a difference of opinion
  • verb withhold assent
  • verb be of different opinions
  • noun the act of protesting; a public (often organized) manifestation of dissent
  • verb express opposition through action or words
  • noun (law) the difference of one judge's opinion from that of the majority


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English dissenten, from Latin dissentīre : dis-, dis- + sentīre, to feel; see sent- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Early 1400s, from Latin dissentire "differ in sentiments, disagree, be at odds, contradict, quarrel," from dis- + sentire (see sense).


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  • "Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime." -- Jacob Bronowski

    October 22, 2007

  • Offering a beacon to a later, more enlightened time, when the errors of

    the majority will be acknowledged and corrected.

    February 14, 2008