Definition of dissident in English:



  • A person who opposes official policy, especially that of an authoritarian state.

    ‘a dissident who had been jailed by a military regime’
    • ‘This did not stop some Labour dissidents from declaring themselves satisfied.’
    • ‘In reality a number of prominent anti-Nazi dissidents and artists did take their own lives while in exile.’
    • ‘Only in the metropolis can gays, Jews, women, dissidents, democrats and oddballs feel safe.’
    • ‘What if the six women turned out to be persecuted human rights dissidents?’
    • ‘The refugees are trapped between Guinean government forces and those of rebel Guinean dissidents.’
    • ‘Political dissidents have long warned of the dangers if such a strategy is not implemented.’
    • ‘These provisions can easily be used to target political opponents and dissidents.’
    • ‘Rawa was responsible for showing the world the summary execution of dissidents in Afghanistan.’
    • ‘He set up a legal practice in the same year, defending dissidents against the Salazar dictatorship.’
    • ‘Ultimately the Republic becomes the Empire and dissidents are forced to launch an armed insurgency.’
    • ‘Is this where he meets Cuban dissidents and shares his ideas about guerrilla warfare?’
    • ‘The dissidents are by no means all pacifists, much less opponents of a resurgence of British imperialism.’
    • ‘Expulsion is very rarely used if the number of likely dissidents is large, because it may then be counter-productive.’
    • ‘Apparently the dispute in the dissidents ' camp is unresolved to this day.’
    • ‘They located or procured party dissidents and sensationalised their grievances.’
    • ‘It knew of plans to carry out killings of exiled political dissidents and, at the very least, did nothing to stop them.’
    • ‘The regime routinely jails dissidents, has tortured them, and bans all opposition.’
    • ‘Even Chinese democracy activists and dissidents take the borders of China as an indivisible given.’
    • ‘Is he hurt when IRA and republican dissidents accuse him of being a traitor?’
    • ‘Each group's militias have arrested human rights activists, newspaper editors and other dissidents.’
    dissenter, objector, protester, disputant
    freethinker, nonconformist, independent thinker
    rebel, revolutionary, recusant, renegade
    subversive, agitator, insurgent, insurrectionist, insurrectionary, mutineer
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  • In opposition to official policy.

    ‘the measure was supported by dissident Tories’
    • ‘At the small assemblies, dissident workers were prevented from speaking against the plan.’
    • ‘Over the subsequent three decades, opposition parties and dissident voices were more in evidence.’
    • ‘There was no over-reliance on dissident forces for information.’
    • ‘Walsh called for the museum to become a rallying point for dissident views.’
    • ‘Pride of place in the discussion was given to dissident Labour MPs and senior trade union officials.’
    • ‘Even dissident local government councillors are being silenced by these big money threats.’
    • ‘It championed democratic dissident movements behind the Iron Curtain as a challenge to Soviet power.’
    • ‘Insofar as dissident writers consider the profits made from drugs, we find an extremely one-sided response.’
    • ‘Democracy and human rights have been extended by women's groups, ethnic minorities, and dissident groups.’
    • ‘The Soviet dissident movement during the Cold War had an important effect on both the Soviet Union and the West.’
    • ‘The teachers are part of a dissident movement against the official union bureaucracy.’
    • ‘It is also likely to be packed, probably with former dissident exiles.’
    • ‘This is not an unreasonable strategy, particularly prior to the internet revolution when dissident outreach was limited in the extreme.’
    • ‘The threat of dissolution is hardly a sanction to wield against dissident MPs.’
    • ‘It is part of a tradition of dissident visionaries whose visions made them critical of everyday life, like William Blake.’
    • ‘The continuing sideshows in both dissident republican and loyalist camps compound their problems.’
    • ‘Under these conditions, if art institutions are not prepared to present dissident views, what good are they?’
    • ‘They are obliged to spend the night in the place, with one dissident member of the group who has also turned up.’
    • ‘This book covers some 30 dissident papers in the US, and sketches the social needs that led to their publication.’
    • ‘Trenchard was able to offer his small and relatively inexpensive force as a cost-effective way to keep dissident colonials in check.’
    dissentient, dissenting, disagreeing
    opposing, opposed, opposition, objecting, protesting, complaining
    rebellious, rebelling, revolutionary, recusant
    nonconformist, non-compliant
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Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘differing in opinion or character’): from Latin dissident- sitting apart, disagreeing, from dis- apart + sedere sit.