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 And like Scott, Dare is open to rekindling relationships with people who are willing to hear her side of a potentially divisive issue. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, 1 June 2021 The country’s most divisive issue -- immigration -- is upending communities and migrants. Dallas News, 8 May 2021 Simon & Schuster has decided not to distribute a book written by a Louisville police officer involved in the Breonna Taylor shooting, the latest move by a publisher to avoid associating itself with a potentially divisive issue. Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, WSJ, 16 Apr. 2021 The councilman has also taken a strong stance on another divisive issue: a ballot measure that would strip from San Antonio police officers the right to bargain for wages and benefits. Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, 13 Apr. 2021 Immigration is the most divisive issue our country has faced since slavery. Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Apr. 2021 While the Second Amendment and gun control is perceived as a politically divisive issue, many measures have support from Americans on both sides, according to a 2019 survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. Mabinty Quarshie, USA TODAY, 23 Mar. 2021 Democrats seem poised to claim victory in the House’s first votes this year on immigration, but moving legislation on the divisive issue all the way through Congress to President Joe Biden is an uphill fight. Alan Fram, chicagotribune.com, 18 Mar. 2021 Laura Dern gives one of her best performances as a pregnant woman who becomes a household name when pro-life and pro-choice activists turn her into the center of a debate over the eternally divisive issue. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, 4 Mar. 2021

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

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Divisive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divisive. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for divisive



English Language Learners Definition of divisive

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

More from Merriam-Webster on divisive

Nglish: Translation of divisive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of divisive for Arabic Speakers


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