Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun div·i·dend \ˈdi-və-ˌdend, -dənd\

Simple Definition of dividend

  • finance : an amount of a company's profits that the company pays to people who own stock in the company

  • : an advantage or benefit that you get because of something you have done

  • mathematics : a number that is being divided by another number

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of dividend

  1. 1 :  an individual share of something distributed: as a :  a share in a pro rata distribution (as of profits) to stockholders b :  a share of surplus allocated to a policyholder in a participating insurance policy

  2. 2 a :  a resultant return or reward <our efforts are finally paying dividends> b :  bonus

  3. 3 a :  a number to be divided b :  a sum or fund to be divided and distributed


play \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of dividend in a sentence

  1. Profits are distributed to shareholders as dividends.

  2. <the reward money was an unexpected dividend for our good deed>

Origin and Etymology of dividend

Middle English divident, from Latin dividendus, gerundive of dividere

First Known Use: 15th century

DIVIDEND Defined for Kids


noun div·i·dend \ˈdi-və-ˌdend\

Definition of dividend for Students

  1. 1 :  a number to be divided by another number

  2. 2 :  an amount of a company's profits that is paid to the owners of its stock

Law Dictionary


noun div·i·dend \ˈdi-və-ˌdend\

Legal Definition of dividend

  1. 1 :  the part of corporate net earnings distributed usually periodically (as quarterly) to stockholders in the form of cash, additional shares, or property either as a set amount per share or a percentage of par value constructive dividend :  a benefit (as unreasonable compensation or use of corporate property) or transfer of funds from a corporation to a shareholder that is interpreted by a taxing authority as a dividend cumulative dividend :  a dividend distributed to preferred stockholders that is added to and paid with the next payment or future payments if not paid when due extraordinary dividend :  a dividend declared in addition to a regular dividend because of unanticipated profits or a nonrecurring increase of revenue

  2. 2 :  a share of the surplus earnings of a mutual insurance company paid to policyholders either in the form of cash disbursements or through reduction of premiums

  3. 3 :  a payment disbursed to investors from the income of a mutual fund

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up dividend? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a dwelling place or home

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • bride-of-dracula-in-cat-form-surrounded-by-candles-and-somewhat-bewilderingly-orange-sacks-instead-of-surely-much-cheaper-and-easier-to-find-actual-pumpkins
  • Which is a synonym of phlegmatic?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.