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’
    • ‘As the alliance gradually grew into a federation, the many cantonal and communal differences led to frequent disputes and armed conflicts.’
    • ‘But consultants remain in dispute with the Government over a scheme aimed at streamlining public health compensation claims.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Shifting weather patterns would prompt changes that could lead to international disputes.’
    • ‘Despite his dissatisfaction with financial constraints, Mr Martin said he was not in dispute with Mr McCreevy.’
    • ‘The consultants are in dispute with the Department over medical indemnity.’
    • ‘The engineers are in dispute with British Gas over the its plans to end a final salary pension scheme for new employees from January.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ms Baker is currently in dispute with West Wiltshire Housing Association, who she says are trying to evict her from the house for damage.’
    • ‘Families are finding themselves in dispute with the Revenue even when tax planning was the furthest thing from their minds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Unequal access to water will lead us to disputes and war, and heading off that spectre is also what skilled politicians exist for.’
    • ‘The sheep farmers had been in dispute with factories over what they claimed was a serious cut in the price being paid for lamb.’
    • ‘The initial dispute led to a brawl involving over ten people in which one was hit with a glass or glass bottle.’
    • ‘The obscure legal status of these territories and zones often leads to disputes and conflicts.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He believes those people already in dispute with their neighbours will exploit the legislation to cause as much aggravation as possible to rivals.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The dispute is over management's failure to fully inform employees about adverse changes to their superannuation scheme.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We have got to kiss and make up with the staff we have been in dispute with and get the team rebuilt.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘York, Wakefield and Doncaster stations are run by GNER and will not be affected as the unions are not in dispute with that company.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Wagner Act of 1935 also created the National Labor Relations Board to help oversee employee disputes in private industry.’
      • ‘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 group is also in dispute with the National Union of Journalists over the axing of 11 editorial positions.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Disputes in the fishing industry fall mainly into two groups but any type of dispute can lead to industrial action.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But Val Hampshire, who has been a control operator for 17 years, denied that the dispute was being led from London.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The strike was called by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union, which is in dispute with the company over pay and conditions.’


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

    ‘the point has been much disputed’
    no object ‘he taught and disputed with local poets’
    • ‘Officers also impounded the motorcycle as disputed property and all three were charged with possession of a class 5 illegal drug.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As usual, they don't try to argue with the post as a whole or dispute its principal themes.’
    • ‘Not a weekend has gone by where some, or all, of the teams are not discussing or disputing these regulations.’
    • ‘Government officials now estimate 54,000 people are dead in the disputed territory.’
    • ‘I have to say that the Olympiad for breakaway regions, disputed territories and separatist enclaves quite appeals to me.’
    • ‘Not knowing how to argue in Mandarin, it is very difficult to dispute any bill or when you think you have been overcharged.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘And then I disputed every single charge our company had made on it!’
      • ‘Smith-Windsor also disputes the argument that if Talisman left Sudan, another company would take over.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He disputed Cross's evidence though he admitted he had told another prisoner that he had been involved.’
      • ‘David Berman has disputed this view, arguing that Collins is, in fact, an atheist.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You're disputing a laying of charges against you; what are those charges?’
      • ‘Some reliance was placed on this by him since the Claimant, it is not disputed, falls within that very broad category.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Maddison disputes the interpretation and argues that 1820 is a much more crucial point separating periods of slow and rapid growth.’
      • ‘In any event, the International Committee of the Red Cross hotly disputes this claim.’
      • ‘Mr Haughey's solicitors dispute this conclusion and argue the monies came through Mr Traynor.’
      • ‘Marshall disputes the argument that Dean has locked up the nomination.’
      • ‘Of course, we will see in our learned friends' submission whether they dispute our repeated assertions that the evidence was uncontested.’
      • ‘Cesare's claims of provocation weren't disputed; nobody quarrelled with Cesare Borgia at the height of his power.’
      • ‘He also argued with the tournament referee and later disputed another decision with a linesman.’
      • ‘In effect the accuracy of the vast majority of the series' facts could not be disputed or questioned in any way.’
      • ‘White is now disputing the head-rubbing charge.’
      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’
    • ‘In its classic sense, war means an armed conflict between two sovereign nations disputing control of territory.’
    • ‘As the race progressed Hanks dropped back a little leaving Horspole and Neary to dispute the lead.’
    • ‘Somalia became, and remains, a classic ‘failed state’ where warlords dispute resources and territory.’
    • ‘You see, they were disputing territory with the guerillas.’
    • ‘That left Martin Tomcyk and Alexandre Premat 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 2.1archaic Resist (a landing or advance)
      ‘I formed my line and prepared to dispute the advance of the foe’
      • ‘At 1:30 p. m. the column is again in motion; no enemy has appeared to dispute the advance.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘He was the better man and he beat me convincingly and without dispute.’
      • ‘What is definitely beyond dispute is that the captured forces certainly did not enter any US territory.’
      • ‘And I think it's going to be clear and beyond dispute that he misled her into thinking that he was married.’
      • ‘They seem to be under the impression that it is both obvious and beyond dispute and, therefore, no argument even needs to be made.’
      • ‘You will have to be the judge… however, it is without dispute that Herring certainly had a big impact on the direction of aviation.’
      • ‘‘There are certain facts of life so long obvious they would seem beyond dispute,’ it runs.’
      • ‘All of that is almost certainly beyond dispute.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That they deserve formal international acceptance is surely beyond dispute.’
  • open to dispute

    • Not definitely decided.

      ‘such estimates are always open to dispute’
      • ‘While there is merit to his remarks, Legros bases them on quantitative estimates that are open to dispute.’
      • ‘Beyond that, the conclusions are open to dispute.’
      • ‘In other places the colonial economic impact was less all-embracing and more 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.’
      • ‘It needs to be clear as any other means of doing this could be open to dispute.’
      • ‘How much dislocation they create is always open to dispute.’
      • ‘The nature of the right of support is 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.’
      • ‘Council says those noise readings have been accepted by the courts and are not open to dispute.’


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