divide

verb
di·​vide | \ də-ˈvīd \
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

divide

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from divide

Verb

dividable \ -​ˈvī-​də-​bəl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for divide

Verb

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Several studied the fundamental identity divisions further polarizing and dividing the United States, while another focused specifically on the dark sides of social media’s influence on politics. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 9 thinkers who made sense of 2018’s chaos," 27 Dec. 2018 The outlet allegedly obtained documents that show Michael and Jennifer are in midst of dividing their assets and seeking joint custody of their 16-year-old daughter (their son is 19). Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The Conners' Fans Are Crushed Over Michael Fishman and Wife Jennifer Briner's Divorce," 28 Dec. 2018 Hosts Matt Yglesias, Dara Lind, and Jane Coaston focus on the effect identity politics have had on dividing the country. Byrd Pinkerton, Vox, "13 of Vox’s best podcast episodes of 2018," 6 Dec. 2018 The deal aims to end decades of tensions over bishop nominations that had contributed to dividing the Chinese church and hampered efforts at improving bilateral relations. Nicole Winfield, Fox News, "Pope acknowledges China bishop deal will cause suffering," 25 Sep. 2018 The deal aims to end decades of tensions over bishop nominations that had contributed to dividing the Chinese church and hampered efforts at improving bilateral relations. Nicole Winfield, The Seattle Times, "Pope acknowledges China bishop deal will cause suffering," 25 Sep. 2018 By dividing up a large population of self-replicating molecules, cells increase the odds that that some of the small, divided populations will replicate without any disabling mutations. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "New system shows the earliest life could cooperate despite “cheaters”," 3 Sep. 2018 Bexar County Democratic Party chair-elect Monica Alcantara is taking the chairmanship June 11 from Manuel Medina, who gained a reputation for bitterly dividing the party by picking sides during primaries. Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, "‘Chaos’ hobbling Bexar County Democratic Party," 10 July 2018 About the difficulty of dividing her time between family and forehands. Howard Fendrich, BostonGlobe.com, "Serena Williams vs. Evgeniya Rodina: Mom vs. Mom," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Men in Vogue This year saw not only a groundswell of interest in menswear as old houses were revived by new creative heads, but also a further crumbling of the gender divide. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "1968 vs. 2018: 50 Years Later Fashion Is Still Playing With the Bohemian Rhapsody of the Late, Tumultuous ’60s," 14 Dec. 2018 There were signs of the deep divide in Brazil at the vigil, when Bolsonaro's supporters briefly exchanged insults with some detractors who showed up. Fox News, "Stabbing of a leading Brazilian candidate could reshape race," 7 Sep. 2018 Painful politics of racial divide, white flight, inequity, and lack of investment became Detroit’s public dominant narrative, no longer its vehicles. Tamara Warren, The Verge, "Inside Detroit’s crumbling train station that Ford plans to transform into a mobility lab," 20 June 2018 Comedian Samantha Bee apologized to Ivanka Trump and viewers on Thursday for using an obscenity to describe the president's daughter, an incident that quickly thrust her into the middle of the nation's political divide. Orlando Sentinel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Comic Samantha Bee apologizes to Ivanka Trump for slur," 1 June 2018 Now, though, some forward-thinking entrepreneurs are trying to bridge the divide, identifying and conserving many of the more unique—and uniquely endangered—aspects of Balinese culture. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Finding the Bali You Came For," 16 Nov. 2018 For decades, the wall between PC and console has been a stark divide in gaming. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Microsoft Might Add Mouse and Keyboard Support to the Xbox," 26 June 2018 In other years, there was a continental divide at the top that spoke of coming problems. Dave Hyde, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Hyde: Dolphins did all they wanted this offseason — but will it work? | Commentary," 14 June 2018 The fighting aggravates religious tensions in a country with a perilous north-south, Muslim-Christian divide. The Economist, "Fighting between Nigerian farmers and herders is getting worse," 7 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of divide

Verb

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

Noun

1642, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for divide

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about divide

Statistics for divide

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for divide

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for divide

divide

verb

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

divide

noun

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

: a separation of people into two or more groups that is caused by different opinions or beliefs or by a disagreement

divide

verb
di·​vide | \ də-ˈvīd \
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

divide

verb
di·​vide | \ də-ˈvīd \
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on divide

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for divide

Spanish Central: Translation of divide

Nglish: Translation of divide for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of divide for Arabic Speakers

Comments on divide

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

WORD OF THE DAY

means, resources, or money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!