di·​vi·​sive də-ˈvī-siv How to pronounce divisive (audio)
-ˈvi- How to pronounce divisive (audio)
 or  -ziv
: creating disunity or dissension
a divisive issue
divisive rhetoric
divisively adverb
divisiveness noun

Examples of divisive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While most of the ads involved the usual self-effacing celebrities asserting their cultural relevance — and some of them were crowd-pleasers and even funny — a number of them touched on some of the most divisive issues of the day: religion, the presidential race and Bud Light. Barbara Lippert, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Feb. 2024 And the idea that people hold compassion around many divisive issues presents an opportunity to bridge a societal divide, says Zofia Włodarczyk, a researcher at the social science think tank More in Common, which published a study. Lenora Chu, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Feb. 2024 After more than a year of deliberation, the World Trade Organization appears close to rejecting a waiver on intellectual property protection for Covid-19 diagnostics and treatments, a divisive issue that has pitted low-income nations and civil society groups against medical products companies. Ed Silverman, STAT, 31 Jan. 2024 Most disturbing, the GOP has tied aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan — three arenas of huge American concern where war is ongoing or threatens to erupt — to resolving the southern border crisis, one of the nation’s most divisive issues. Trudy Rubin, The Mercury News, 27 Jan. 2024 The suffering and death of animals for the sake of science has always been an ethically fraught and divisive issue. Erika Fry, Fortune, 27 Jan. 2024 While Morrissey has recently become a divisive figure who has expressed support for the far-right political party For Britain, Marr has spoken out against right-wing politicians who like the Smiths. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 24 Jan. 2024 The actor played Prince Charles during the Netflix series’ final two seasons, which just so happened to be its most divisive among television critics. Zack Sharf, Variety, 30 Jan. 2024 This debate isn’t just about the 20 states that have enacted these divisive bans. Mary Ellen Klas, Twin Cities, 28 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'divisive.' 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

1642, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of divisive was in 1642

Dictionary Entries Near divisive

Cite this Entry

“Divisive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divisive. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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