Definition of dissident in US English:



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

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

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