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

Other Words from divisive

divisively adverb
divisiveness noun

Examples of divisive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Farah Griffin's close association with the Trump administration could prove divisive. Nick Romano, EW.com, 26 July 2022 The poll shows that a potential new friend’s political lean is a bigger factor than others, even some dynamics that traditionally have been considered divisive. Dante Chinni, NBC News, 24 July 2022 Attempting to ply a middle route, this year’s G-20 president, Indonesia, has tried to bridge what gaps are possible, laying out an agenda that is not inherently divisive or political. Matthew Lee, ajc, 7 July 2022 Capping Russian oil prices has proven divisive, with Germany in particular questioning the practicalities of a price cap. Robert Hart, Forbes, 27 June 2022 The candidates were criticized for being divisive or angry while drawing contrasts on the campaign trail, and contentious debates were covered by news outlets in ways some said would have been different if the candidates were men. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 22 June 2022 In a world where critical race theory has been deemed divisive and left people banning books and pulling out whole sections of textbooks to sanitize the history of this nation, Raising Antiracist Children is needed now more than ever. Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence, 2 June 2022 Other divisive concepts Ohio's bill differs from the Florida law in one another significant way. Anna Staver, The Enquirer, 5 Apr. 2022 Still, Youngkin’s administration has been rescinding diversity and equity programs and policies pursuant to the governor’s Day 1 executive order to banning from schools the teaching of divisive concepts including critical race theory. Washington Post, 14 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of divisive

1642, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About divisive

Time Traveler for divisive

Time Traveler

The first known use of divisive was in 1642

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near divisive

division wall



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for divisive

Last Updated

16 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Divisive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divisive. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on divisive

Nglish: Translation of divisive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of divisive for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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