AskDefine | Define dissident

Dictionary Definition

dissident adj
1 characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards [syn: heretical, heterodox]
2 disagreeing, especially with a majority [syn: dissentient, dissenting(a)] n : a person who dissents from some established policy [syn: dissenter, protester, objector, contestant]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Dissident



dissidens, -entis, present participle of dissidere to sit apart, to disagree; dis- + sedere to sit.


  1. In a manner that disagrees; dissenting; discordant; different.


  1. A person who formally opposes the current political structure, opposes the political group in power, opposes the policies of the political group in power, or opposes current laws.
  2. One who disagrees or dissents; one who separates from the established religion.

Related terms


person who formally opposes the current political structure, group in power, or current laws

Extensive Definition

A dissident, broadly defined, is a person who actively challenges an established doctrine, policy, or institution. When individual dissidents unite in a common cause they may become known as a dissident movement.

Soviet dissidents

The term dissident was used in the Soviet Union during the period of 1965-1985, including Brezhnev stagnation, for citizens who overtly (or sometimes even subtly) criticized the practices or the authority of the Communist party. The people who used to write, tear and who distributed non-censored non-conformist literature samizdat were criticized in the newspapers. It was common to criticize an author in newspapers without publishing any of his works. Then, many people accepted the term dissident with respect to themselves. This radically changed the meaning of the term: instead of criminal, who opposes the society, the term got meaning of non-conformist, who insists on the officially published laws, including the international agreements, signed by the Soviet government. Important part of activity of dissidents was informing the society (Both inside the Soviet Union and in foreign countries) about violation of laws and human rights; see Chronicle of Current Events (samizdat) and Moscow Helsinki Group.

External links

dissident in Bulgarian: Дисидент
dissident in Czech: Disident
dissident in Danish: Systemkritiker
dissident in German: Dissident
dissident in Estonian: Dissident
dissident in Spanish: Disidencia
dissident in Italian: Dissidente
dissident in Hebrew: דיסידנט
dissident in Georgian: დისიდენტი
dissident in Luxembourgish: Dissident
dissident in Lithuanian: Disidentas
dissident in Macedonian: Дисидент
dissident in Dutch: Dissident
dissident in Norwegian: Dissident
dissident in Polish: Dysydent (polityka)
dissident in Portuguese: Dissidência
dissident in Russian: Диссидент
dissident in Simple English: Dissident
dissident in Slovak: Disident
dissident in Finnish: Toisinajattelija
dissident in Swedish: Dissident
dissident in Vietnamese: Người bất đồng chính kiến
dissident in Chinese: 持不同政见者

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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