Friday, 10 April 2015

Dissensus - The Reverse of Consensus

Photo by Philippe Leroyer


Noun. Mid-20th century.
[from DIS- + CONSENSUS, or Latin dissensus disagreement.]

Widespread dissent; the reverse of consensus.

A simple, interesting and rather useful word, dissensus offers the opposite of consensus, with Merriam-Webster offering a rather lovely example of its use:

"A democracy relies on dissensus as much as consensus."

Being rather obliging sorts, I do feel we haven't used dissensus enough, and it would make a most agreeable additional to all of our vocabularies.

Do please agree with everything I've just written in the comment box below.


  1. Have a celebrity endorsement, Eddie:

    'Everyone everywhere always agrees
    On the flavour and value of Twentyman's teas.'

    That's from Dorothy L Sayers' Murder Must Advertise. (A masterpiece.)

    Unfortunately I'm afraid that then she goes on:

    'No doubt it was because agreement on any point was so rare in a quarrelsome world, that the fantastical announcements of advertisers asserted it so strongly and absurdly.'

    But never mind, eh?

    1. Twentyman's approach is rather different to Marmite's, who rather than vaunt some imagined consensus, proudly relish in the dissensus that their product generates.

      As for me, it can't be beaten.

      Crumpets with butter and marmite, and a cup of Twining's Earl Grey tea. Heaven!