If you are a dissident, you are a person who is rebelling against a government. Dissidents can do their work peacefully or with violence.

Dissident is closely related to the word, dissent, which means objecting. People who are dissidents show their dissent. Catholic priests who advocate allowing women into the priesthood could be called dissidents, as could the Puritans who left England to live in colonial America. As an adjective, a dissident member of a group is one who disagrees with the majority of members.

Definitions of dissident

n a person who dissents from some established policy

contestant, dissenter, objector, protester
Alexander Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
Soviet writer and political dissident whose novels exposed the brutality of Soviet labor camps (born in 1918)
show 9 types...
hide 9 types...
CO, conscientious objector
one who refuses to serve in the armed forces on grounds of conscience
nonconformist, recusant
someone who refuses to conform to established standards of conduct
political dissident
a dissenter from political orthodoxy
someone who objects to siting something in their own neighborhood but does not object to it being sited elsewhere; an acronym for not in my backyard
beat, beatnik
a member of the beat generation; a nonconformist in dress and behavior
a nonconformist writer or artist who lives an unconventional life
enfant terrible
a person whose unconventional behavior embarrasses others
a person who holds unorthodox opinions in any field (not merely religion)
maverick, rebel
someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action
Type of:
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
a human being

adj characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards

heretical, heterodox
breaking with convention or tradition

adj disagreeing, especially with a majority

dissentient, dissenting
expressing or consisting of a negation or refusal or denial

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.