Meaning of “dispute” in the English Dictionary

"dispute" in English

See all translations

disputenoun [ C or U ]

uk /dɪˈspjuːt/ /ˈdɪs.pjuːt/ us /dɪˈspjuːt/ /ˈdɪs.pjuːt/

C2 an argument or disagreement, especially an official one between, for example, workers and employers or two countries with a common border:

a border dispute
a pay/legal/trade dispute
They have been unable to settle/resolve the dispute over working conditions.
The unions are in dispute with management over pay.
beyond (all) dispute

C2 certainly:

He is beyond all dispute the finest actor in Hollywood today.
in dispute

being doubted:

I don't think her ability is in dispute - what I question is her attitude.
open to dispute

not certain:

He says it's the best musical equipment you can buy, but I think that's open to dispute.

More examples

disputeverb [ I or T ]

uk /dɪˈspjuːt/ us /dɪˈspjuːt/

C2 to disagree with something that someone says:

Few would dispute his status as the finest artist of the period.
The circumstances of her death have been hotly disputed.
[ + (that) ] I don't dispute (that) his movies are entertaining, but they don't have much depth.

More examples

noun [ C or U ] uk /ˌdɪs.pjuˈteɪ.ʃən/ us /ˌdɪs.pjuːˈteɪ.ʃən/ formal
adjective uk /ˌdɪs.pjuˈteɪ.ʃəs/ us /ˌdɪs.pjuːˈteɪ.ʃəs/ old use

He's a disputatious young man (= he argues a lot).
adjective uk /dɪˈspjuː.tɪd/ us /dɪˈspjuː.t̬ɪd/

a disputed border/goal
disputed territory

(Definition of “dispute” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"dispute" in American English

See all translations

disputenoun [ C/U ]

us /dɪˈspjut/

an argument or disagreement:

[ C ] Management and the union are trying to resolve the dispute over working conditions.
Her skill is not in dispute (= there is no disagreement about her skill), but she doesn’t produce enough work.
verb [ I/T ] us /dɪˈspjut/

[ + that clause ] I don’t dispute that his films are entertaining, but they don’t have much depth.

(Definition of “dispute” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"dispute" in Business English

See all translations

disputenoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈdɪspjuːt/ us

an argument or disagreement, especially an official one:

The judge urged the feuding partners to settle their legal dispute .
Staff have been in a long-running pay dispute with the company.
An official involved in the dispute said that the attorney has indicated he is likely to agree to the revised terms.
He was in dispute with his last company, which had terminated his contract.
Workers at the car plant are to stage a fresh strike in a dispute over pay.
dispute between/with sb/sth (and sb/sth) The dispute between Brazil and the United States over immigration checks continued.
a bitter/long-running dispute
in dispute

not yet agreed on or accepted by everyone:

Sensitive documents related to personnel that ought to be protected for privacy reasons are the only documents that are in dispute.
The facts in this matter are in dispute.

disputeverb [ T ]

uk /dɪˈspjuːt/ us

to disagree with or express doubts about something:

Health insurers dispute the doctors' statement that they don't pay enough to make up for the cost of the vaccine.
Many in the television industry dispute research findings suggesting negative long-term effects of television violence.

(Definition of “dispute” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Help us add to the Cambridge Dictionary!

These examples are from external sources. Click on the icon to tell us if any are not OK.


While recognising that there may be a problem in some countries we feel that the solution being proposed is unworkable and so could bring the directive into dispute.
There is no dispute about the great extent to which we are dependent on imports of crude oil; that much is obvious.
Whatever the benefits of the alternative methods of dispute settlement, the consumer should not be deprived of the possibility of a remedy.
Rather, this is a genuine labour dispute.
There has been some dispute as to whether countries have been apply them to transit products, thereby adding value to these.
The development of small and medium-sized enterprises is the cornerstone of the internal market, it being beyond dispute that this area accounts for over 90% of the workforce.
In past cases of dispute, a decision is based on the end product and not the way a product is produced.
Finally, my committee welcomes the introduction of alternative dispute resolution procedures and hopes that this regulation can enter into force as soon as possible.
Secondly, with regard to the impact on conditions on the ground, the situation on the ground - and this is not easy to dispute - is appalling.
I would have some dispute with you with regard to thermo-nuclear fusion being an alternative energy source, because it already exists.

Blogs about "dispute"