di·​vide | \ də-ˈvīd How to pronounce divide (audio) \
divided; dividing

Definition of divide

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to separate into two or more parts, areas, or groups divide the city into wards
b : to separate into classes, categories, or divisions divide history into epochs
c : cleave, part a ship dividing the waves
2a : to separate into portions and give out in shares : distribute divide profits
b : to possess, enjoy, or make use of in common divide the blame
c : apportion divides her time between the office and home
3a : to cause to be separate, distinct, or apart from one another fields divided by stone walls
b : to separate into opposing sides or parties the issues that divide us
c : to cause (a parliamentary body) to vote by division
4a : to subject (a number or quantity) to the operation of finding how many times it contains another number or quantity divide 42 by 14
b : to be used as a divisor with respect to (a dividend) 4 divides 16 evenly
c : to use as a divisor used with into divide 14 into 42

intransitive verb

1 : to perform mathematical division
2a(1) : to undergo replication, multiplication, fission, or separation into parts
(2) : to branch out
b : to become separated or disunited especially in opinion or interest



Definition of divide (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of dividing
2a : a dividing ridge between drainage areas
b : a point or line of division or disagreement

Other Words from divide


dividable \ də-​ˈvī-​də-​bəl How to pronounce divide (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for divide


separate, part, divide, sever, sunder, divorce mean to become or cause to become disunited or disjointed. separate may imply any of several causes such as dispersion, removal of one from others, or presence of an intervening thing. separated her personal life from her career part implies the separating of things or persons in close union or association. vowed never to part divide implies separating into pieces or sections by cutting or breaking. civil war divided the nation sever implies violence especially in the removal of a part or member. a severed limb sunder suggests violent rending or wrenching apart. a city sundered by racial conflict divorce implies separating two things that commonly interact and belong together. cannot divorce scientific research from moral responsibility

distribute, dispense, divide, deal, dole out mean to give out, usually in shares, to each member of a group. distribute implies an apportioning by separation of something into parts, units, or amounts. distributed food to the needy dispense suggests the giving of a carefully weighed or measured portion to each of a group according to due or need. dispensed wisdom to the students divide stresses the separation of a whole into parts and implies that the parts are equal. three charitable groups divided the proceeds deal emphasizes the allotment of something piece by piece. deal out equipment and supplies dole out implies a carefully measured portion of something that is often in short supply. doled out what little food there was

Examples of divide in a Sentence

Verb She divided the pie into eight pieces. The equator divides the Earth into two hemispheres. The river divides after the bridge. A tall fence divides the two yards.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Pour into serving glasses or divide among glass jars, cover and refrigerate for up to four days. Los Angeles Times, 30 Dec. 2021 While the nature of these hopes may divide the family in some ways, attaining these dreams is what brings them back together in the end. Rob Wieland, Forbes, 29 Dec. 2021 Southeast Oakland County cities splintered: The new Oakland County-Detroit pairings divide cities in southeast Oakland County currently kept intact. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, 28 Dec. 2021 While ideology and politics often divide Washington, D.C., Congress is steadfastly united in a common cause: curing cancer. Scientific American, 28 Dec. 2021 Facebook announcement drew more than 700 replies, mirroring the fevered views that divide the nation over public health during the pandemic. Amy Goldstein, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Dec. 2021 After a tragic event occurs, an even larger divide forms between the two groups. Frances Solá-santiago, refinery29.com, 14 Dec. 2021 Council members contend that creating a second majority-Black district would divide west-side communities. Taylor Deville, baltimoresun.com, 13 Dec. 2021 Although recent versions of the state Assembly maps would divide El Cajon, the changes for congressional boundaries could have the opposite effect. San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There was a clear divide in the justices’ thinking as to who has the authority to issue these emergency rules, says Ian Carleton Schaefer, chair of Loeb and Loeb’s New York employment and labor practice. Megan Leonhardt, Fortune, 7 Jan. 2022 While others are celebrating dressing up and taking special care to make sure there is a clear divide between office and home life. Kristen Bateman, Town & Country, 4 Jan. 2022 There is just a deep political divide between them. Wilborn Nobles, ajc, 31 Dec. 2021 Despite legalization, there is still a racial divide in the cannabis market, with Black ownership accounting for only 4.3 percent of all cannabis businesses. Corein Carter, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2021 The 5–4 split over the state court clerks and the Texas attorney general proved to be the deepest divide among the justices. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 10 Dec. 2021 COVID-19-related hospitalizations have been on an upward trend in New York state since last month, but there appears to be a drastic divide between the Big Apple and some of the state's more rural areas, health data shows. Ivan Pereira, ABC News, 9 Dec. 2021 There also is a divide in people making stuffing inside their turkey or just on its own. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 22 Nov. 2021 That means there could be a divide between Senate and House leadership, both Republicans, during the upcoming legislative session. Kaitlin Lange, The Indianapolis Star, 16 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'divide.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of divide


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1642, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for divide


Middle English, from Latin dividere, from dis- + -videre to separate — more at widow

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Time Traveler for divide

Time Traveler

The first known use of divide was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near divide

divest of


divide and conquer

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Statistics for divide

Last Updated

11 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Divide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divide. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for divide



English Language Learners Definition of divide

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to separate (something) into two or more parts or pieces
: to separate (something) into classes or categories
: to give (something) out in usually equal amounts



English Language Learners Definition of divide (Entry 2 of 2)

: a line of hills or mountains from which rivers drain : a ridge between two rivers : watershed
: a separation of people into two or more groups that is caused by different opinions or beliefs or by a disagreement


di·​vide | \ də-ˈvīd How to pronounce divide (audio) \
divided; dividing

Kids Definition of divide

1 : to separate into two or more parts or pieces She divided the pie into eight pieces.
2 : to give out in shares I divided the money between us.
3 : to be or make different in opinion or interest The country was divided over the issue.
4 : to subject to or perform mathematical division Divide 10 by 2.
5 : to branch off : fork The road divides here.

Other Words from divide

divider \ də-​ˈvī-​dər \ noun


di·​vide | \ də-ˈvīd How to pronounce divide (audio) \
divided; dividing

Medical Definition of divide

transitive verb

: to separate into two or more parts divide a nerve surgically

intransitive verb

: to undergo replication, multiplication, fission, or separation into parts actively dividing cells

More from Merriam-Webster on divide

Nglish: Translation of divide for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of divide for Arabic Speakers


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