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 intodivide 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 This happens at brick-and-mortar stores, which divide up menswear and womenswear into separate areas, floors, and sometimes even buildings. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The Future of Retail Is Genderless," 25 Nov. 2020 These broadsides from the president came as national security officials warned that Russia and other bad actors were trying to divide Americans through disinformation. Matt Vasilogambros, USA TODAY, "Disinformation fears came true for election officials. What does that mean for future elections?," 24 Nov. 2020 These rules, agreed on by entertainment industry unions and studios, require that large productions divide their cast and crew into different zones. Los Angeles Times, "Pandemic has forced producers to bring new technology to sets," 24 Nov. 2020 In an extreme sign of aging called cellular senescence, cells permanently lose the ability to divide. Matthew Steinhauser, The Conversation, "Why do older people heal more slowly?," 24 Nov. 2020 Members of the state’s vaccination committees are working on a plan to divide those health care workers into subsets based on priority. Catherine Ho, SFChronicle.com, "Newsom: Up to 2.4 million California health care workers could get coronavirus vaccines as soon as December," 23 Nov. 2020 These geriatric cells that can no longer divide are also known as senescent cells, which accumulate over the period of your life and are believed to be one of the leading causes of aging. Tim Childers, Popular Mechanics, "It Sure Looks Like Humans Have Found a Way to Reverse Aging," 19 Nov. 2020 Tim Sweeney, Epic’s chief executive and another of Apple’s toughest critics, also accused Apple of trying to divide developers. Jack Nicas, New York Times, "Apple Halves Its App Store Fee for the Smaller Companies," 18 Nov. 2020 Trump’s decision not to concede at this point would further divide the country and undermine faith in the election process. Chris Sikich, chicagotribune.com, "Indiana senator: If you exclude California — nation’s most populous state — Biden and Trump are tied," 11 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In neighboring New Jersey, the partisan divide over $4 billion in COVID-19 borrowing backed by the Democratic governor and Legislature prompted a court challenge by minority Republicans. Star Tribune, "With no action by Washington, states race to offer virus aid," 28 Nov. 2020 There was the recession, the riots in Portland, an ugly political divide, wildfires and school closures. oregonlive, "Nine months in, COVID crisis is driving health care workers out," 25 Nov. 2020 The same voter enthusiasm — and strong partisan divide — that resulted in a record number of ballots being cast this fall also meant there were few undecided voters in the days leading up to the presidential election. John Wildermuth, SFChronicle.com, "Pollsters are taking lumps for bad calls in battleground states. In California they’re taking victory laps," 24 Nov. 2020 That’s likely to exacerbate the divide, similar to forcing or coercing people into taking the vaccine. Shadim Hussain, Wired, "We Need 'Horizontal' Trust to Overcome Vaccine Skepticism," 21 Nov. 2020 In a year filled with uncertainty with a worldwide pandemic, racial unrest, political divide that might be at an all-time worst, and all that in the middle of a crazy election process, Sanders’ life is stable. Chris Hays, orlandosentinel.com, "Transfer working out quite well for Robbie Sanders at Lake Minneola," 20 Nov. 2020 This North-South divide, demarcated by Van Buren Street, dates back to the late 1800s, when modern Phoenix was first established. Taylor Seely, The Arizona Republic, "Interstate highways displaced thousands in Phoenix. The consequences were long-lasting," 19 Nov. 2020 The increasing divide between the U.S. and China, exacerbated by the pandemic, prompted a shift in Beijing’s strategy toward greater self-reliance. Bloomberg.com, "Crackdowns Everywhere Show Xi Strengthening Party Grip on China," 16 Nov. 2020 The characters Netflix's new YA holiday rom-com series Dash & Lily embody the yearly Christmas divide: those who cannot get enough holiday cheer and those who would do anything to avoid it entirely. Ariana Brockington, refinery29.com, "It’s Christmas Now — The Dash & Lily Soundtrack Says So," 10 Nov. 2020

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

Time Traveler for divide

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for divide

Last Updated

30 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Divide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divide. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for divide

divide

verb
How to pronounce divide (audio)

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

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

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!