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

Yet if the goal was to erase caste divisions in public life, India has failed spectacularly. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "India’s Ethnic Quotas Are a Cautionary Tale," 24 Jan. 2019 And then, buried deep within it, is this paragraph: WHEREAS, At the same time that Gritty brings people together, the divisions in our current political and cultural life have rendered Gritty contested territory. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Gritty’s evolution from googly-eyed hockey mascot to meme to leftist avatar, explained," 24 Dec. 2018 The race cars are sold by the automaker's AMG division in Affalterbach, Germany. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Open mind, wide open throttle: We go to our first NASCAR race," 15 Nov. 2018 Ferguson has often blamed herself for any division in the past. Eileen Reslen, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sarah Ferguson Will Be Front and Center at Daughter Princess Eugenie's Royal Wedding," 26 July 2018 More than 1,200 three-person teams are entered across nine divisions in the softball tournament renowned for its raunchy team names. Don Norcross, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego couple puts it all on the line for Over-The-Line," 13 July 2018 The consequences of constantly attacking those on the other side only polarize us and create further division in our political system. Shawn R. Beals, Courant Community, "Middletown Republicans Outraged After Drew Calls Chair Racist In Facebook Post," 13 July 2018 Royalist mania transcends traditional political divisions in the United States. Heather Souvaine Horn, The New Republic, "Donald Trump, Meghan Markle, and America’s enduring obsession with the British royals," 12 July 2018 Shawn Loper of Bel Air won the men’s masters division in the Olympic-distance race. Bill Blewett, The Aegis, "Harford triathletes fare well at Diamond in the Rough," 12 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

10 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for division

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

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More Definitions for division



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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