Definition of dissentient in English:



  • In opposition to a majority or official opinion.

    ‘dissentient voices were castigated as ‘hopeless bureaucrats’’
    • ‘Lastly, the problem of dissentient minorities must in the end be addressed if environmental protection regimes are to establish common rules and implement collective policies followed by all member states.’
    • ‘The chapter identifies varied readings - dissident, resistant, heritagist, liberationist, nationalist, and dissentient - as responses to colonialism and to the after effects, neocolonialism.’
    • ‘While it was not wholly opposed to legal enactment (and indeed one dissentient member thought there was no other way) it generally favoured machinery based on consensus.’
    • ‘Madam Speaker, I draw your attention to the definition of ‘leave’ in Standing Order 3, which states that it ‘means permission to do something that is granted without a dissentient voice’.’
    • ‘‘The liberty to criticize and express dissentient views has long been thought to be a safeguard against state tyranny and corruption.’’
    • ‘Sometimes any dissentient shareholder can invoke the right, but normally a percentage requirement is imposed, a somewhat crude way of filtering out unmeritorious cases.’
    • ‘Seldom performed sequentially and together, they were taken up integrally in 1966 by a dissentient cellist in the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in an interpretation that changed the world's perception of Viennese sound.’
    • ‘But it is in the madrassah, not at home, that Anu hears a compelling dissentient voice.’
    • ‘An acknowledged expert in finance, his budgets were received with scarcely a dissentient voice.’
    • ‘The words of dead poets are read and confirmed like the minutes of the previous meeting, with perhaps the dissentient voice of one Scotch shareholder.’
    dissenting, dissident, disagreeing, differing, discordant, contradicting, contrary, negative, anti-
    View synonyms


  • A person who opposes a majority or official opinion.

    • ‘The dissentients agreed in this construction to the extent that they determined that the position of the barrister was solely governed by section 10.’
    • ‘Chief Justice Dixon was a dissentient in Livingston.’
    • ‘However, it is not clear if this was the reality, and there were many dissentients from this thesis.’
    • ‘The error made by the majority is revealed by the reasoning employed by the dissentient, his Honour Justice Wallwork.’
    • ‘Views of these kinds, with their roots mainly in clinical observation and practice, held sway with many variations and some dissentients well into the twentieth century.’
    • ‘He, like his fellow dissentient Lord Slynn, found no compelling reasons for criminal liability.’
    • ‘The dissentient, in our respectful submission, expressed the position absolutely correctly.’
    • ‘It must think it really did win the last state election, even though the Libs polled more votes and gained more seats than Labor, which came to office only through backroom deals with two or three Liberal dissentients.’
    dissenter, protester, rebel, renegade, freethinker, apostate, heretic, schismatic, recusant, seceder, individualist, free spirit, maverick, unorthodox person, eccentric, original, deviant, misfit, hippy, dropout, fish out of water, outsider
    View synonyms


Early 17th century: from Latin dissentient- ‘differing in opinion’, from the verb dissentire.