ADJ. considerable, major, serious There is considerable dispute over the precise definition of ‘social class’ as a term. The incident sparked off a major dispute between the two countries. | minor | acrimonious, bitter, fierce, heated | damaging | simmering The simmering dispute erupted in public when the two men came to blows at the party conference. | continuing, lengthy, long-running, long-standing, prolonged, protracted | outstanding He proposed a negotiated settlement of the outstanding disputes between the two countries. | public | local, international | internal There were lengthy internal disputes between the two wings of the party. | domestic, family | labour, industrial, pay | border, boundary, land, territorial | legal | ideological, political | commercial, financial, trade | religious
VERB + DISPUTE cause, lead to, provoke, spark (off) one of the many factors that led to the dispute | enter | be drawn into Governments are often drawn into disputes about matters of public taste and decency. | be embroiled in, be engaged in, be involved in They became embroiled in a dispute with their neighbours. | deal with, handle Police have difficulties in dealing with domestic disputes. | adjudicate, decide The purpose of industrial tribunals is to adjudicate disputes between employers and employees. | resolve, settle, solve | lose, win | avoid, prevent | be open to His theories are open to dispute (= can be disagreed with).
DISPUTE + VERB arise, begin, erupt No one could remember exactly how the dispute had arisen. | escalate | concern sth disputes concerning environmental protection | involve sb/sth
PREP. beyond ~ The matter was settled beyond dispute by the court judgment (= it could no longer be argued about). | in ~ (with) The actual sum of compensation due is still in dispute (= being argued about). The employees have been in dispute with management for three weeks. | under ~ the matters under dispute | ~ about/over, ~ among/amongst The exact relationship between the two languages is a matter of dispute amongst scholars. | ~ as to There is no dispute as to the facts. | ~ between a long-standing dispute between the families over ownership of the land. | ~ with
PHRASES an area/a matter of dispute, potential/room/scope for dispute to minimize the scope for dispute over the meaning of the terms employed | the resolution/settlement of a dispute
ADV. fiercely, hotly The effectiveness of this treatment is still hotly disputed.
VERB + DISPUTE can/cannot No one can dispute the fact that men still hold the majority of public offices.