div·​i·​dend | \ ˈdi-və-ˌdend How to pronounce dividend (audio) , -dənd \

Definition of dividend

1 : an individual share of something distributed: such as
a : a share in a pro rata distribution (as of profits) to stockholders Profits are distributed to shareholders as dividends.
b : a share of surplus allocated to a policyholder in a participating insurance policy
2a : a resultant return or reward our efforts are finally paying dividends
b : bonus
3a mathematics : a number to be divided
b : a sum or fund to be divided and distributed

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Other Words from dividend

dividendless \ ˈdi-​və-​ˌdend-​ləs How to pronounce dividend (audio) , -​dənd-​ \ adjective

Examples of dividend in a Sentence

Profits are distributed to shareholders as dividends. the reward money was an unexpected dividend for our good deed
Recent Examples on the Web That lowers total return to 1.9%, the 1.5% dividend yield plus the 0.4% capital gain. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "These investments will outperform the S&P 500 over the next decade, a top research firm predicts," 27 Apr. 2021 Coca-Cola stock was recently sporting a healthy dividend yield of over 3.1%, and that payout has been increased for 59 consecutive years. Dallas News, "Motley Fool: Coca-Cola is changing with the times," 25 Apr. 2021 That frees $230 million for the state’s capital budget — used to fund construction and renovation projects — and $175 million for the Permanent Fund dividend. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska House’s draft plan for federal aid calls for millions to help nonprofits, local governments and tourism," 24 Apr. 2021 Lynch refines this measure by adding the dividend yield to earnings growth. Charles Rotblut, Forbes, "Lynch’s One Up On Wall Street-Inspired Screening Strategy," 16 Apr. 2021 Serious people are studying and proposing serious political and scientific strategies, like a carbon fee and dividend. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Population growth, policing, Ethiopia," 5 Apr. 2021 Exxon’s juicy dividend yield is an example of how unpopular investment sectors can outperform more conscience-pleasing investments. Michael Taylor, ExpressNews.com, "Taylor: Trump’s assault on socially responsible investing," 2 Dec. 2020 For example, the dividend yield (a year’s worth of dividends divided by the current market price) on Admiral shares of Vanguard’s S&P 500 fund is more than double the interest yield of a 10-year Treasury. Allan Sloan, ProPublica, "The Fed Saved the Economy but Is Threatening Trillions of Dollars Worth of Middle-Class Retirement," 21 Oct. 2020 Thus, the company holds a bulk of its long-term debt as short-term investments due to stringent capital preservation measures including capex curtailments and dividend suspension. Trefis Team, Forbes, "United Airlines Stock Looks Fairly Valued But Obstacles Remain," 16 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dividend.' 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 dividend

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dividend

Middle English divident, from Latin dividendus, gerundive of dividere — see divide entry 1

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Time Traveler for dividend

Time Traveler

The first known use of dividend was in the 15th century

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Statistics for dividend

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dividend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dividend. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for dividend



English Language Learners Definition of dividend

finance : an amount of a company's profits that the company pays to people who own stock in the company
: an advantage or benefit that you get because of something you have done
mathematics : a number that is being divided by another number


div·​i·​dend | \ ˈdi-və-ˌdend How to pronounce dividend (audio) \

Kids Definition of dividend

1 : a number to be divided by another number
2 : an amount of a company's profits that is paid to the owners of its stock


div·​i·​dend | \ ˈdi-və-ˌdend How to pronounce dividend (audio) \

Legal Definition of dividend

1 : the part of corporate net earnings distributed usually periodically (as quarterly) to stockholders in the form of cash, additional shares, or property either as a set amount per share or a percentage of par value
constructive dividend
: a benefit (as unreasonable compensation or use of corporate property) or transfer of funds from a corporation to a shareholder that is interpreted by a taxing authority as a dividend
cumulative dividend
: a dividend distributed to preferred stockholders that is added to and paid with the next payment or future payments if not paid when due
extraordinary dividend
: a dividend declared in addition to a regular dividend because of unanticipated profits or a nonrecurring increase of revenue
2 : a share of the surplus earnings of a mutual insurance company paid to policyholders either in the form of cash disbursements or through reduction of premiums
3 : a payment disbursed to investors from the income of a mutual fund

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