\ ˈsi-zəm How to pronounce schism (audio) , ˈski- also ˈshi-; among clergy usually ˈsi- How to pronounce schism (audio) \

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

The coordinated efforts of Leonard and George shifted the landscape of the entire NBA, furthering a schism between the East and West, while also severely altering the future plans of several franchises. Rohan Nadkarni,, "Winners and Losers: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and NBA Free Agency's Second Act," 7 July 2019 That led to a schism, and two competing organizations were formed. Ysabelle Kempe,, "Why Mass. is often overlooked role in the suffrage movement," 27 June 2019 Missing amid all this detail was anything about the Israeli occupation, in its various forms, of the West Bank and Gaza, or about the schism between the Palestinian leaders in the two territories. The Economist, "An underwhelming start to the “ultimate” Israeli-Palestinian deal," 27 June 2019 During those years of schism, Stanton and Anthony wrote a one-sided account of the history of the women’s suffrage movement that minimized the role of Lucy Stone and her allies. Ysabelle Kempe,, "Why Mass. is often overlooked role in the suffrage movement," 27 June 2019 But every schism brings division not only on the religious level but also on the cultural level, on the level of people’s identity. The Economist, "Transcript: Interview with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev," 1 Feb. 2018 The dating of that schism between the Neanderthals and the Denisovans is surprising because previous research had pegged it as much more recent: a 2016 study, for instance, set it at only 450,000 years ago. Quanta Magazine, "Genetics Spills Secrets From Neanderthals’ Lost History," 18 Sep. 2017 That schism, given potency by the Arab Spring, has endured ever since. Tim Lister, CNN, "Mohamed Morsy: A polarizing legacy," 17 June 2019 The schism between the atmospheric and life sciences that Swann encountered was a holdover from the late 1800s, when the U.S. government proclaimed that planting crops and trees would turn the arid Great Plains wet. Quanta Magazine, "Forests Emerge as a Major Overlooked Climate Factor," 9 Oct. 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

18 Jul 2019

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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

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on schism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with schism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for schism

Spanish Central: Translation of schism

Nglish: Translation of schism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of schism for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about schism

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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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