divide

verb
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

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

That is what divides climate hawks from their opponents. David Roberts, Vox, "We might get a climate debate after all. Here are 10 questions to ask candidates.," 3 July 2019 Swift also claimed she was not given advance warning of the news in the lengthy post, which has divided Hollywood since it was posted. Lauren Huff, EW.com, "Taylor Swift vs. Scooter Braun: Who's on whose side?," 3 July 2019 The trial revealed a SEAL team divided with a dozen members testifying. Jonathan Vigliotti, CBS News, "Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher found not guilty of murdering ISIS fighter," 2 July 2019 Put it on your tab Gmail’s tabs update is like a free personal organizer, dividing your inbox between multiple different tabs, including Social emails (like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), Updates (Newsletters, etc.), Finance, and Promos. Currie Engel, Time, "10 Can't-Miss Gmail Tips and Tricks That Will Change the Way You Email," 2 July 2019 As the term wound down, many of them remarked on the frequent divides between him and Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s other nominee to the high court. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court Steps to the Right," 1 July 2019 Bolton was conspicuous in his absence when Trump and Pompeo choppered up to the demilitarized zone dividing the Koreas. Noah Bierman, latimes.com, "Trump’s impromptu approach to North Korea divides his administration," 1 July 2019 There’s little value in dividing a workload between two players like Guice and Peterson, and there’s no doubt as to which one the team prefers to be its lead back. Michael Beller, SI.com, "Fantasy Football 2019: Six Players More Valuable Than Their Current Draft Position," 1 July 2019 But backing May didn’t give Unionists much say over their side of the Brexit divide in the negotiations that followed, which have been primarily directed in London by May and others. K. V. Turley, National Review, "Border Posts and Border Ghosts," 1 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Candidates on bridging the partisan divide and working with Mitch McConnell TODD: Thank–thank you vice president. Time Staff, Time, "Here's What the Candidates Said During Thursday's Dramatic Democratic Presidential Debate," 29 June 2019 The partisan divide was substantial, with 72% of Democrats supporting the moratorium and 85% of Republicans against it. Phil Willon, latimes.com, "Poll finds Californians support the death penalty — and Newsom’s moratorium on executions," 17 June 2019 The rapper's comments were met with anger and caused a divide among his devotees. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, "Questlove Wears Thoughts About Kanye's Trump Support With New 'Pablo'-Inspired Tee," 28 Apr. 2018 The inequities plaguing our country’s civil justice system should transcend any partisan divide. David Zapolsky, Fortune, "Top Amazon Lawyer: 'Justice for All' Requires More Funding and Innovation," 18 June 2019 But the news on Wednesday that the former Vice President still backs the Hyde Amendment, which O'Rourke and other 2020 Democrats want to repeal, opened up another significant divide between Biden and the rest of the field. CBS News, "Beto O'Rourke: Biden "absolutely wrong" on Hyde Amendment support," 5 June 2019 Federal officials say the attackers looked for ways to bridge the divide between the utilities’ corporate networks, which are connected to the internet, and their critical-control networks, which are walled off from the web for security purposes. Rebecca Smith And Rob Barry, WSJ, "America’s Electric Grid Has a Vulnerable Back Door—and Russia Walked Through It," 10 Jan. 2019 The divide was sort of comic, the benefactors in Dries Van Noten and the fawning fangirls in CDG. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "“It’s Hard to Find Interesting New Things”—A Chat with Rei Kawakubo as She Wins the Noguchi Award," 3 May 2019 Instead, Kashmir—for decades the site of a bloody partisan divide between Hindus and Muslim separatists—has suffered growing violence from among its local population that India has struggled to contain. Bill Spindle, WSJ, "Deadly Bombing Targets Indian Security Personnel in Kashmir," 14 Feb. 2019

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

6 Jul 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)

chiefly US : 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 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

divide

verb
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

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 form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!