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

The exchange prompted some intramural squabbling among news outlets — another sign of Mr. Trump’s skill in not only insulting the news media, but in dividing it as well. New York Times, "‘Fake News’ Goes Global as Trump, in Britain, Rips the Press," 13 July 2018 But they are divided over how to stop the violence. Phil Diehl, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Protesters to return with weekend gun show," 13 July 2018 Lowe quickly set to organizing the group, dividing them into four groups and directing their efforts. Henry J. Morgan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Local activist helps family search for missing Glendale teen," 12 July 2018 When the dough is doubled, punch it down and divide it into 6 pieces, each weighing about 5 ounces. Noelle Carter, charlotteobserver, "Grilling burgers this summer? Up your game with these homemade bun recipes," 6 July 2018 In 2011, a public high school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, gained national attention for a mentoring program that had its junior class divide itself for several minutes each day along racial, gender or language lines. NBC News, "Elite NYC private school ends separating students by race," 5 July 2018 There is far more that unites Mike, Mead and me than divides us. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Republican Scott Hawkins withdraws from Alaska governor’s race, citing entry of Treadwell," 2 July 2018 And there must be a gate in the fence that divides it from Cuba. Brenda Medina And Glenn Garvin, miamiherald, "Trump dialed it up to 10, but his predecessors often treated migrants with disdain," 2 July 2018 The two sides are divided by small edible gifts, macarons and biscotti, that appear to tumble down the side. Mackenzie Schmidt, PEOPLE.com, "Frosting Face-Off! See the Unusual Way Property Brothers Star Drew Scott Chose His Wedding Cake," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In its place is a promising attempt to create jobs for a new generation of workers, and to tackle an ancient and ridiculous British class divide. The Economist, "A welcome upgrade to apprenticeships," 12 July 2018 The protests left three of Park’s supporters dead and deepened a national divide, but didn’t escalate to a level that posed a threat to national security. Hyung-jin Kim, The Seattle Times, "South Korea to probe military plan to quell Park protests," 10 July 2018 Cleveland stands out for its ambition and scope in using literature to empower marginalized groups, foster economic dynamism, and bridge social divides. Christopher Johnston, The Christian Science Monitor, "Cleveland uses literature to empower youth, overcome social divides," 9 July 2018 Those who believe otherwise need to communicate an alternative explanation and recognize that anti-immigrant fervor reflects cultural as well as economic divides. Joan C. Williams, WSJ, "The Elites Feed Anti-Immigrant Bias," 9 July 2018 Refusing to believe anything but Fox News The partisan divide isn't exactly news. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "How former Fox News exec Bill Shine is the perfect Trump hire," 6 July 2018 Endiro Coffee is about crossing borders and cultural divides. Patrick Z. Mcgavin, Aurora Beacon-News, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs: Endiro Coffee in Aurora," 6 July 2018 If freedom of personal expression is the COH’s first commandment, then dissolving any societal divides among certain hairstyles comes a close second. Leilani Marie Labong, SFChronicle.com, "At the Culture of Hair salon, the mission is top of mind — and head," 5 July 2018 After refusing to serve Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on June 22, the Red Hen restaurant grew notorious, prompting a national debate over social decency in an era of sharp political divides. Caroline Simon, USA TODAY, "For the first time since Sanders' visit, the Red Hen opens amid protests," 5 July 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

14 Sep 2018

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

to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!