Definition of dispute in English:


Pronunciation /ˈdɪspjuːt//dɪˈspjuːt/


Pronunciation /ˈdɪspjuːt//dɪˈspjuːt/
  • 1A disagreement or argument.

    ‘a territorial dispute between the two countries’
    mass noun ‘the Commission is in dispute with the government’
    • ‘Before that first stone was put in place the Bucknells were in dispute with the council over its design, and had two suggestions turned down.’
    • ‘Unequal access to water will lead us to disputes and war, and heading off that spectre is also what skilled politicians exist for.’
    • ‘But consultants remain in dispute with the Government over a scheme aimed at streamlining public health compensation claims.’
    • ‘The initial dispute led to a brawl involving over ten people in which one was hit with a glass or glass bottle.’
    • ‘We had been in dispute with a major financial institution since February because we believed we had been sold an endowment policy that was not suitable.’
    • ‘Both Kuerten and Marshall vowed not to ride on a team with O'Connor, and are in dispute with the selectors.’
    • ‘As for her naïve belief that people would not fight to death over a parking space, Hilary Evans has clearly never seen my husband in dispute with another motorist.’
    • ‘The engineers are in dispute with British Gas over the its plans to end a final salary pension scheme for new employees from January.’
    • ‘He believes those people already in dispute with their neighbours will exploit the legislation to cause as much aggravation as possible to rivals.’
    • ‘Ms Baker is currently in dispute with West Wiltshire Housing Association, who she says are trying to evict her from the house for damage.’
    • ‘Shifting weather patterns would prompt changes that could lead to international disputes.’
    • ‘Families are finding themselves in dispute with the Revenue even when tax planning was the furthest thing from their minds.’
    • ‘While she had been in dispute with the tax people about a year-and-a-half ago, she believed the matter had been settled and she was fully paid up.’
    • ‘As the alliance gradually grew into a federation, the many cantonal and communal differences led to frequent disputes and armed conflicts.’
    • ‘The consultants are in dispute with the Department over medical indemnity.’
    • ‘The obscure legal status of these territories and zones often leads to disputes and conflicts.’
    • ‘The sheep farmers had been in dispute with factories over what they claimed was a serious cut in the price being paid for lamb.’
    • ‘Despite his dissatisfaction with financial constraints, Mr Martin said he was not in dispute with Mr McCreevy.’
    • ‘Relatives of people buried in the former Wesleyan cemetery in Cheetham Hill have been in dispute with Manchester city council for the past four months.’
    • ‘To be in dispute with the club for which he had played and coached has obviously cut deep, yet Telfer, true to form, rationalises the issue.’
    debate, discussion, discourse, disputation, argument, controversy, contention, disagreement, altercation, falling-out, quarrelling, variance, dissension, conflict, friction, strife, discord, antagonism
    quarrel, argument, altercation, squabble, falling-out, shouting match, disagreement, difference of opinion, clash, wrangle, feud, fight, fracas, brawl
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A disagreement between management and employees that leads to industrial action.
      ‘an industrial dispute’
      • ‘The strike was called by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union, which is in dispute with the company over pay and conditions.’
      • ‘Security firm Brinks Allied is in dispute with its staff over new security arrangements which, the union claims, put its members in more danger.’
      • ‘The dispute has led to 263 staff being removed from the Department's payroll and farming activities being disrupted in various parts of the country.’
      • ‘ALMOST 400 students at a city vocational school could be locked out for a day just weeks ahead of their State exams due to a dispute over the management there.’
      • ‘York, Wakefield and Doncaster stations are run by GNER and will not be affected as the unions are not in dispute with that company.’
      • ‘The dispute between management and doctors has been dragging on for a number of years, since a review of medical services within the State's prisons.’
      • ‘The Wagner Act of 1935 also created the National Labor Relations Board to help oversee employee disputes in private industry.’
      • ‘Please forgive me for perhaps dealing with it in this way: we have received a huge amount of evidence of what is wrong with management, and why disputes are not resolved, and why you get employment law cases.’
      • ‘An accountancy firm estimates that an escalation of the dispute leading to disruption of the national rail network could take the nation's bill up to £200m a day.’
      • ‘But Val Hampshire, who has been a control operator for 17 years, denied that the dispute was being led from London.’
      • ‘The group is also in dispute with the National Union of Journalists over the axing of 11 editorial positions.’
      • ‘Conductors are already in dispute with the company, while station and clerical staff are being balloted for industrial action.’
      • ‘The Senior National Officer for the union said they had come up against a brick wall when seeking talks with management over their disputes.’
      • ‘Coun Stroud condemned the scheme as inappropriate at a time when the Fire Brigades Union is in dispute with the Government over pay.’
      • ‘The union, which represents most of the 2,500 workers in the dairy processing giant, is in dispute with the co-op over its procedural agreement.’
      • ‘The dispute is over management's failure to fully inform employees about adverse changes to their superannuation scheme.’
      • ‘Mr Hayes said the dispute had led to a shutdown of services to farmers and everything from the payment of EU monies to the issuing of cattle movement permits has been delayed.’
      • ‘Disputes in the fishing industry fall mainly into two groups but any type of dispute can lead to industrial action.’
      • ‘We have got to kiss and make up with the staff we have been in dispute with and get the team rebuilt.’
      • ‘But Allan Craig added, if the council goes ahead with the plans, the would declare a dispute which could lead to industrial action of some kind.’


[with object]
Pronunciation /dɪˈspjuːt/
  • 1Argue about (something)

    ‘the point has been much disputed’
    no object ‘he taught and disputed with local poets’
    • ‘The physical borders may no longer exist but the authorities are watching and waiting for the moment when these disputed territories have to be renegotiated yet again.’
    • ‘I have to say that the Olympiad for breakaway regions, disputed territories and separatist enclaves quite appeals to me.’
    • ‘As the country invaded its neighbour in a bid to retrieve disputed territory, the region witnessed the kind of fighting that would not have seemed out of place in Flanders during the first world war.’
    • ‘Not knowing how to argue in Mandarin, it is very difficult to dispute any bill or when you think you have been overcharged.’
    • ‘As usual, they don't try to argue with the post as a whole or dispute its principal themes.’
    • ‘Officers also impounded the motorcycle as disputed property and all three were charged with possession of a class 5 illegal drug.’
    • ‘Government officials now estimate 54,000 people are dead in the disputed territory.’
    • ‘Not a weekend has gone by where some, or all, of the teams are not discussing or disputing these regulations.’
    debate, discuss, exchange views
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Question whether (a statement or alleged fact) is true or valid.
      ‘the accusations are not disputed’
      with clause ‘the estate disputes that it is responsible for the embankment’
      • ‘He disputed Cross's evidence though he admitted he had told another prisoner that he had been involved.’
      • ‘There is a clear and substantial prejudice to the Claimant - she is unable to dispute the facts alleged by the Defendant that go to the heart of the case as both Cecil and Arthur are dead.’
      • ‘And then I disputed every single charge our company had made on it!’
      • ‘Marshall disputes the argument that Dean has locked up the nomination.’
      • ‘David Berman has disputed this view, arguing that Collins is, in fact, an atheist.’
      • ‘When a member asks a question with an assertion contained within it, it is perfectly open to the Minister to answer the question by disputing the assertion.’
      • ‘Mr Haughey's solicitors dispute this conclusion and argue the monies came through Mr Traynor.’
      • ‘Maddison disputes the interpretation and argues that 1820 is a much more crucial point separating periods of slow and rapid growth.’
      • ‘Some reliance was placed on this by him since the Claimant, it is not disputed, falls within that very broad category.’
      • ‘Darling disputed these assertions of fact, but there were no proceedings in which he could be given a hearing or the matters resolved after full consideration.’
      • ‘Now, underpinning all of those particular questions is the much more general consideration: what, if any, disputed question of fact is there in this case?’
      • ‘Smith-Windsor also disputes the argument that if Talisman left Sudan, another company would take over.’
      • ‘In effect the accuracy of the vast majority of the series' facts could not be disputed or questioned in any way.’
      • ‘You're disputing a laying of charges against you; what are those charges?’
      • ‘Cesare's claims of provocation weren't disputed; nobody quarrelled with Cesare Borgia at the height of his power.’
      • ‘White is now disputing the head-rubbing charge.’
      • ‘Of course, we will see in our learned friends' submission whether they dispute our repeated assertions that the evidence was uncontested.’
      • ‘In any event, the International Committee of the Red Cross hotly disputes this claim.’
      • ‘He also argued with the tournament referee and later disputed another decision with a linesman.’
      • ‘It was not disputed that the words were spoken on a privileged occasion, but the plaintiff alleged that the privilege was defeated by malice on the defendant's part.’
      challenge, contest, deny, doubt, question, call into question, impugn, quibble over, contradict, argue about, object to, oppose, disagree with, take issue with, protest against
      View synonyms
  • 2Compete for; strive to win.

    ‘the two drivers crashed while disputing the lead’
    • ‘Scottish International fell runner Neil Wilkinson gave them the lead after Holmfirth, Morpeth and Derby all disputed top spot following the first three legs.’
    • ‘Somalia became, and remains, a classic ‘failed state’ where warlords dispute resources and territory.’
    • ‘Similar struggles exist in east Malaysia, where the land rights of indigenous groups are bitterly disputed with loggers eager to harvest the timber for export.’
    • ‘In its classic sense, war means an armed conflict between two sovereign nations disputing control of territory.’
    • ‘They were, in effect, disputing some common territory, a point that the diagram reveals especially when Modernism triumphs after the Second World War.’
    • ‘Macclesfield took an early and disputed lead through a Lee Glover penalty and veteran Tony Ford equalised for the home side on 25 minutes.’
    • ‘You see, they were disputing territory with the guerillas.’
    • ‘That left Martin Tomcyk and Alexandre Premat disputing the lead.’
    • ‘As the race progressed Hanks dropped back a little leaving Horspole and Neary to dispute the lead.’
    1. 2.1archaic Resist (a landing or advance)
      ‘I formed my line and prepared to dispute the advance of the foe’
      • ‘He has disposed of his surplus baggage and commissary stores, placing them out of reach of any descent of a force in this direction, and leaving him free to dispute the advance of the rebel army.’
      • ‘At 1:30 p. m. the column is again in motion; no enemy has appeared to dispute the advance.’
      be against, object to, be hostile to, be anti, be in opposition to, disagree with, dislike, disapprove of
      View synonyms


  • beyond (or without) dispute

    • Certain or certainly.

      ‘the main part of his argument was beyond dispute’
      • ‘All of that is almost certainly beyond dispute.’
      • ‘You will have to be the judge… however, it is without dispute that Herring certainly had a big impact on the direction of aviation.’
      • ‘That they deserve formal international acceptance is surely beyond dispute.’
      • ‘What is definitely beyond dispute is that the captured forces certainly did not enter any US territory.’
      • ‘Researchers have never proven beyond dispute that there were ever societies in which women had power and influence greater than or even equal to that of men.’
      • ‘They seem to be under the impression that it is both obvious and beyond dispute and, therefore, no argument even needs to be made.’
      • ‘Scholars and judges can debate how loosely constitutional language should be interpreted, but one need not be a strict constructionist to find this language clear beyond dispute.’
      • ‘And I think it's going to be clear and beyond dispute that he misled her into thinking that he was married.’
      • ‘‘There are certain facts of life so long obvious they would seem beyond dispute,’ it runs.’
      • ‘He was the better man and he beat me convincingly and without dispute.’
  • open to dispute

    • Not definitely decided.

      ‘such estimates are always open to dispute’
      • ‘The reliability of these statistics is open to dispute, for one cannot but question whether they reflect the rent of all land or merely land devoted mainly to agricultural production.’
      • ‘While there is merit to his remarks, Legros bases them on quantitative estimates that are open to dispute.’
      • ‘Council says those noise readings have been accepted by the courts and are not open to dispute.’
      • ‘In any case, the criteria by which we judge whether one theory is ‘simpler’ than another are themselves open to dispute and are often far from obvious.’
      • ‘The criteria for making this determination is variable and open to dispute.’
      • ‘The nature of the right of support is not open to dispute.’
      • ‘Beyond that, the conclusions are open to dispute.’
      • ‘It needs to be clear as any other means of doing this could be open to dispute.’
      • ‘In other places the colonial economic impact was less all-embracing and more open to dispute.’
      • ‘How much dislocation they create is always open to dispute.’


Middle English: via Old French from Latin disputare ‘to estimate’ (in late Latin ‘to dispute’), from dis- ‘apart’ + putare ‘reckon’.