di·​vi·​sive | \ də-ˈvī-siv How to pronounce divisive (audio) also -ˈvi- How to pronounce divisive (audio) or -ziv \

Definition of divisive

: creating disunity or dissension a divisive issue divisive rhetoric

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Other Words from divisive

divisively adverb
divisiveness noun

Examples of divisive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Fourth of July speeches were outlandish and divisive. Cole Behrens, The Enquirer, "Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich says Trump 'having a meltdown,' says GOP needs to step up," 8 July 2020 Despite the pandemic, President Trump is employing a reelection strategy of divisive rhetoric with inflammatory speeches, tweets and statements. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "5 things to know for July 7: Coronavirus, election, Supreme Court, Hong Kong, police," 7 July 2020 And the plan avoids the most divisive issues, such as specific prohibitions on fossil fuels, fracking, and pipelines. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "House GOP under pressure from allies to support planks of Democratic climate plan," 7 July 2020 Like everything else in life this has become divisive and political and ugly. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "We all need to work together to stop COVID-19. Here's why that's such a frustrating truth," 7 July 2020 But, the flag has remained divisive in a state with a 38 percent Black population. Fox News, "Mississippi could strip Confederate symbol from state flag as lawmakers convene," 27 June 2020 The current flag has remained divisive in a state with a 38% Black population. Emily Wagster Pettus, Anchorage Daily News, "Mississippi takes step toward dropping rebel image from flag," 27 June 2020 But the flag has remained divisive in a state with a 38% black population. CBS News, "Mississippi governor says he'll sign bill to change state flag if one passes," 27 June 2020 But, the flag has remained divisive in a state with a 38% Black population. Washington Post, "Confederate symbol on Mississippi flag sparks strong debate," 26 June 2020

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

1642, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for divisive

Time Traveler

The first known use of divisive was in 1642

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Statistics for divisive

Last Updated

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Divisive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divisive. Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for divisive


How to pronounce divisive (audio) How to pronounce divisive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of divisive

formal : causing a lot of disagreement between people and causing them to separate into different groups

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More from Merriam-Webster on divisive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with divisive

Spanish Central: Translation of divisive

Nglish: Translation of divisive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of divisive for Arabic Speakers

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