division of labor

noun phrase

: the breakdown of labor into its components and their distribution among different persons, groups, or machines to increase productive efficiency

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Ever since Clarke’s exit, there’d been a clear division of labor in the band. Alex Pappademas, New York Times, 19 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'division of labor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1776, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of division of labor was in 1776

Dictionary Entries Near division of labor

Cite this Entry

“Division of labor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/division%20of%20labor. Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!