di·vi·sion | \ də-ˈvi-zhən \

Definition of division 

1a : the act or process of dividing : the state of being divided

b : the act, process, or an instance of distributing among a number : distribution

2 : one of the parts or groupings into which a whole is divided or is divisible

3 : the condition or an instance of being divided in opinion or interest : disagreement, disunity exploited the divisions between the two countries

4a : something that divides, separates, or marks off

b : the act, process, or an instance of separating or keeping apart : separation

5 : the mathematical operation of dividing something

6a : a self-contained major military unit capable of independent action

b : a tactical military unit composed of headquarters and usually three to five brigades

c(1) : the basic naval administrative unit

(2) : a tactical subdivision of a squadron of ships

d : a unit of the U.S. Air Force higher than a wing and lower than an air force

7a : a portion of a territorial unit marked off for a particular purpose (such as administrative or judicial functions)

b : an administrative or operating unit of a governmental, business, or educational organization

8 : the physical separation into different lobbies of the members of a parliamentary body voting for and against a question

9 : plant propagation by dividing parts and planting segments capable of producing roots and shoots

10 : a group of organisms forming part of a larger group specifically : a primary category of the plant kingdom in biological taxonomy that is typically equivalent to a phylum

11 : a competitive class or category (as in boxing or wrestling)

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Other words from division

divisional \-ˈvizh-nəl, -ˈvi-zhə-nᵊl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for division

part, portion, piece, member, division, section, segment, fragment mean something less than the whole. part is a general term appropriate when indefiniteness is required. they ran only part of the way portion implies an assigned or allotted part. cut the pie into six portions piece applies to a separate or detached part of a whole. a puzzle with 500 pieces member suggests one of the functional units composing a body. a structural member division applies to a large or diversified part. the manufacturing division of the company section applies to a relatively small or uniform part. the entertainment section of the newspaper segment applies to a part separated or marked out by or as if by natural lines of cleavage. the retired segment of the population fragment applies to a part produced by or as if by breaking off. only a fragment of the play still exists

Examples of division in a Sentence

the process of cell division a division of profits into equal shares After learning multiplication, the students were taught division.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The last time Escobar had missed a game was Sept. 25, 2015, and that was only because Yost rested all of his starters the day after the Royals clinched the division. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Clubhouse policeman Bud Norris creating latest controversy in St. Louis," 14 July 2018 In a recent tune-up tournament on Fiesta Island, both played on teams that won the open divisions. Don Norcross, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego couple puts it all on the line for Over-The-Line," 13 July 2018 Strzok was then abruptly reassigned to a position at the FBI’s human resources division. Alana Abramson, Time, "3 Moments That Actually Mattered at the Peter Strzok Hearing," 13 July 2018 The Cards have to move back in the other direction to avoid falling behind the division’s middle tier of NC State, Wake Forest and Boston College. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville football can (and can't) beat NC State," 12 July 2018 The countries on the eastern flank also stressed that, despite the divisions, the achievements of the summit in Brussels made them safer. Washington Post, "Trump’s tough NATO talk plays well on eastern flank," 12 July 2018 Democrats also contended that Benczkowski did not have enough experience in federal courtrooms to run the criminal division. NBC News, "Senate confirms Brian Benczkowski, justice official who worked for Russian bank," 11 July 2018 Many of the cultural divisions (liberals preferring The Daily Show, conservatives preferring Fox News) are an outgrowth of this rift. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "White Americans love Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer—and flashlights.," 10 July 2018 In Hallandale Beach, any potential violation would be investigated by the police’s internal affairs division. Meryl Kornfield, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Mayors push to strengthen lobbying laws in Broward," 9 July 2018

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

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

History and Etymology for division

Middle English, from Anglo-French devision, from Latin division-, divisio, from dividere to divide

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Statistics for division

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for division

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

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English Language Learners Definition of division

: the act or process of dividing something into parts : the way that something is divided

: something that physically divides or separates something else

mathematics : the process of finding out how many times one number is contained in another


di·vi·sion | \ də-ˈvi-zhən \

Kids Definition of division

1 : the act or process of dividing or separating : the state of being divided or separated cell division

2 : the mathematical process of finding out how many times one number is contained in another

3 : something that divides, separates, or marks off The river is the division between the two towns.

4 : one of the parts or groups that make up a whole

5 : a large military unit

6 : a level of competitors He finished third in his weight division.

7 : a group of plants that ranks above the class and below the kingdom and in scientific classification is typically equal to a phylum


di·vi·sion | \ də-ˈvizh-ən \

Medical Definition of division 

1 : the act or process of dividing : the state of being divided — see cell division

2 : a group of organisms forming part of a larger group specifically : a primary category of the plant kingdom that is typically equivalent to a phylum

Other words from division

divisional \-ˈvizh-nəl, -ˈvizh-ən-ᵊl \ adjective

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Comments on division

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a magnificent or impressive array

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