\ˈsi-zəm, ˈski- also ˈshi-; among clergy usually ˈsi- \

Definition of schism 

1 : division, separation also : discord, disharmony a schism between political parties

2a : formal division in or separation from a church or religious body

b : the offense of promoting schism

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Examples of schism in a Sentence

a schism between leading members of the party The church was divided by schism.

Recent Examples on the Web

Things Change also lets Barham reclaim American Aquarium after a schism last year with the other members, most of whom had been on board for the group's last two records. Gary Graff, Billboard, "American Aquarium Tackles Sobriety on 'One Day at a Time': Premiere," 18 May 2018 No European government wants to see the precedent of a national schism. The Economist, "Catalonia’s new president is a secessionist, like the previous one," 17 May 2018 Nowhere is the schism between the highs and the lows of fashion more evident than in menswear. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The Spring 2019 Men’s Trend Report," 27 June 2018 More important, there is no sign of any schism within the team itself. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Dele Alli and England Drop Their Guard and Their Past," 18 June 2018 Everyone knows about the left-right acrimony, but people pay less attention to the schism within the Democratic Party. Brittany Natale, Teen Vogue, "Hannah Zimmerman Is A Freshman at Stanford University — and New York’s Youngest Elected Official," 6 June 2018 The last presidential elections in 2014 led to months of political paralysis, and the country’s political and ethnic schisms have not been resolved. Gardiner Harris, New York Times, "On Brief Visit, Pompeo Says U.S. Is Afghanistan’s ‘Enduring Partner’," 9 July 2018 As parties woo local operators, clientelist groups will suffer internal schisms, further fracturing the remnants of the PRI. Michael Lettieri, Washington Post, "Mexico votes tomorrow. Here’s how the country will be radically transformed when the PRI loses.," 30 June 2018 But Merkel could not say for sure whether the agreements would be enough to resolve the conservative schism that could bring down the government. David Rising, Fox News, "Merkel hoping migrant agreements will quell dissent in bloc," 1 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for schism

Middle English scisme, from Anglo-French scisme, cisme, from Late Latin schismat-, schisma, from Greek, cleft, division, from schizein to split — more at shed

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Statistics for schism

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for schism

The first known use of schism was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of schism

: a division among the members of a group that occurs because they disagree on something

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Comments on schism

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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