di·​vi·​sion | \ də-ˈvi-zhən How to pronounce division (audio) \

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 \ də-​ˈvizh-​nəl How to pronounce divisional (audio) , -​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

Spain and Portugal may soon follow, says Iain Stealey of JPMorgan Chase’s asset management division. The Economist, "As yields turn negative, investors are having to pay for safety," 10 Aug. 2019 Karen Moe, director of the university’s human subjects division, said authorities there investigated the critics’ concerns and concluded that most were unfounded. NBC News, "Is pot safe when pregnant? Study seeks answer, draws critics," 7 Aug. 2019 Clark is the wife of Mike Rogers, president of TSG’s racing division and a member of the Breeders’ Cup board. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Conflict of interest in group linked to CHRB, Stronach Group, Breeders’ Cup baffles," 6 Aug. 2019 That was needed to avoid a conflict of interest because Mills and Ivey both face criminal charges related to the jail, according to Dave Lambert, chief of the civil division of the prosecutor’s office. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland.com, "Cuyahoga County Council approves Budish administration request for $80K to defend Budish in jail lawsuit," 6 Aug. 2019 Burt, the chief of the division of immunotherapy at Northwestern University, said the transplant procedure usually is covered by insurance. Nara Schoenberg, chicagotribune.com, "‘I want to talk about it’: College student from Riverside gets the same cutting-edge multiple sclerosis treatment as actress Selma Blair," 5 Aug. 2019 The roster included Karen Seymour, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell who had previously served as chief of the criminal division in the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan and has since become general counsel at Goldman Sachs. Jesse Eisinger, ProPublica, "How Trump’s Political Appointees Overruled Tougher Settlements With Big Banks," 4 Aug. 2019 One of her riders was Kailyn Rodriguez who competed with her 13-year-old warmblood gelding horse Filiberke in a couple of divisions. Emmett Hall, sun-sentinel.com, "To avoid summer heat, equestrians and their horses compete in Jump the Moon," 1 Aug. 2019 Houston boxer Ginny Fuchs advanced to the semifinals of the women's flyweight division at the 2019 Pan American Games with a 5-0 decision over Valeria Cardenas of Costa Rica on Sunday. Reid Laymance, Houston Chronicle, "Houston boxer Ginny Fuchs advances in Pan Am Games," 29 July 2019

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

11 Aug 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 How to pronounce division (audio) \

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 How to pronounce division (audio) \

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 How to pronounce divisional (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on division

What made you want to look up division? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period when something is suspended

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