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



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

Other Words from divide


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

Choose the Right Synonym for divide


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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Lay out tortillas in double layers (2 per taco); divide eggs among them. People Staff, PEOPLE.com, 30 July 2022 Aside from providing a possible permanent cure for baldness, this chemical can also control when stem cells divide and die. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 27 July 2022 Discussions on installing a center median to divide lanes of traffic, as well as additional fencing to prevent people from climbing up the bridges’ arches, are also underway. Melissa Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, 26 July 2022 The move heightened fears that Russia is trying to pressure and divide Europe over its support for Ukraine at a time when countries are trying to build up their supplies of gas for the winter. Susie Blann, ajc, 25 July 2022 The politics of polarization and associated fake news divide people and disintegrate trust. Fortune, 21 July 2022 Apart, published by Penguin Random House, on why people divide and how to bring them back together. Robert G. Eccles, Forbes, 12 July 2022 This is a really powerful tool to separate those countries and divide their government. CBS News, 6 July 2022 That’s the signal to dig and divide or move them to another location. Tim Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 19 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Rather, the Russian president’s strategy appears to be a classic tactic of divide and conquer–the timeless tool of insecure autocrats dealing from a position of weakness. Steven Tian, Fortune, 25 July 2022 The poster is an effective visual riposte to the divide-and-conquer culture war issue ginned up by Republicans eager for a mid-term rebound in November. Steven Litt, cleveland, 2 June 2022 Parenting younger children is often about divide and conquer. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 17 May 2022 Parenting younger children is often about divide and conquer. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 17 May 2022 To help bridge that divide, the government has launched an unprecedented effort in the five weeks since Russia's invasion to raise money for its cause on a global scale. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 1 Apr. 2022 Putin has enacted a policy of divide and rule, and the nationalists had been used to that effect, leaving them almost completely destroyed. Ben Croll, Variety, 28 Mar. 2022 Daniel Garcia, 52, of the first block of Gates Street, Crystal Lake, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, disobeying a traffic control divide and improper lane usage at 1:52 a.m. March 5 at 38th Street and Meyers Road. Chuck Fieldman, chicagotribune.com, 11 Mar. 2022 Moreover, his program of divide and conquer shifted to an urgent gear when, in 2019, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which granted Moscow its independence, granted the same to Kyiv. Tim Kelleher, National Review, 3 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of divide


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


1642, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for divide


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

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Time Traveler for divide

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near divide

divest of


divide and conquer

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Statistics for divide

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Divide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divide. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for divide


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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on divide

Nglish: Translation of divide for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of divide for Arabic Speakers


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