\ ˈsplit How to pronounce split (audio) \
split; splitting

Definition of split

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to divide lengthwise usually along a grain or seam or by layers
b : to affect as if by cleaving or forcing apart the river splits the town in two
2a(1) : to tear or rend apart : burst
(2) : to subject (an atom or atomic nucleus) to artificial disintegration by fission
b : to affect as if by breaking up or tearing apart : shatter a roar that split the air
3 : to divide into parts or portions: such as
a : to divide between persons : share
b : to divide into factions, parties, or groups
c : to mark (a ballot) or cast or register (a vote) so as to vote for candidates of different parties
d(1) : to divide or break down (a chemical compound) into constituents split a fat into glycerol and fatty acids
(2) : to remove by such separation split off carbon dioxide
e : to divide (stock) by issuing a larger number of shares to existing shareholders usually without increase in total par value
4 : to separate (the parts of a whole) by interposing something split an infinitive
5 : leave split the party split town

intransitive verb

1a : to become split lengthwise or into layers
b : to break apart : burst
2a : to become divided up or separated off split into factions split from the group
b : to sever relations or connections : separate
c : leave especially : to leave without delay split for the coast
3 British : to betray confidence : act as an informer usually used with on
4 : to apportion shares
split hairs
: to make oversubtle or trivial distinctions
split one's sides
: to laugh heartily
split the difference
: to arrive at a compromise



Definition of split (Entry 2 of 4)

2 : prepared for use by splitting split bamboo split hides
3 : heterozygous used especially by breeders of cage birds sometimes with for



Definition of split (Entry 3 of 4)

1a : a narrow break made by or as if by splitting
b : an arrangement of bowling pins left standing with space for pins between them
2 : a piece split off or made thin by splitting
3a : a division into or between divergent or antagonistic elements or forces a cultural split
b : a faction formed in this way
4a : the act or process of splitting something (such as the stock of a corporation)
b : the act of lowering oneself to the floor or leaping into the air with legs extended at right angles to the trunk
5 : a product of division by or as if by splitting
6 : a wine bottle holding one quarter the usual amount or about .1875 liters (6 to 6.5 ounces) also : the quantity held by a split
7 : an ice cream sundae served over slices of fruit (such as banana)
8 : the recorded time at or for a specific part of a race


geographical name
\ ˈsplit How to pronounce Split (audio) \

Definition of Split (Entry 4 of 4)

city and port on the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic Sea in southern Croatia population 166,500

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Choose the Right Synonym for split


tear, rip, rend, split, cleave, rive mean to separate forcibly. tear implies pulling apart by force and leaving jagged edges. tear up the letter rip implies a pulling apart in one rapid uninterrupted motion often along a line or joint. ripped the shirt on a nail rend implies very violent or ruthless severing or sundering. an angry mob rent the prisoner's clothes split implies a cutting or breaking apart in a continuous, straight, and usually lengthwise direction or in the direction of grain or layers. split logs for firewood cleave implies very forceful splitting or cutting with a blow. a bolt of lightning cleaved the giant oak rive occurs most often in figurative use. a political party riven by conflict

Examples of split in a Sentence

Verb The board split in two. The hull of the ship split apart on the rocks. A large chunk of ice split off from the iceberg and crashed into the water. She split the muffin and gave me half. The class split into several small groups. Two of the band members split off to form their own band. The teacher split the class into groups. The river splits the town in two. The party is split over the issue of taxes. The church split into moderate and conservative factions. Adjective opinions are split on the subject Noun There's a split down the back of your jacket. The new policy has caused a split in the organization. a split between liberals and conservatives a wide split of opinions
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The youth — once friends — are now split by different loyalties. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Son of Sinaloa Cartel kingpin pleads guilty in San Diego," 30 Apr. 2021 Local officials are split on whether to release the video. Valerie Bauerlein, WSJ, "Video of Andrew Brown Shooting to Be Released Publicly in 30-Plus Days," 28 Apr. 2021 Even some of the lead attorneys have been split on the use of the portable bone scan. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Flint residents affected by water crisis may be getting exposed to harmful radiation," 28 Apr. 2021 The Cowboys appear split at No. 10 on cornerbacks Patrick Surtain II of Alabama and Jaycee Horn of South Carolina, according to Tony Pauline of the Pro Football Network. Matt Goul, cleveland, "NFL Draft 2021 rumors and reports: Smoke signals on Jimmy Garoppolo and Caleb Farley," 28 Apr. 2021 The UConn baseball team (17-13, 3-1 Big East), returning from a 14-day COVID-19 pause between games, split a doubleheader at Xavier on Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati. Staff Report, courant.com, "UConn baseball splits doubleheader with Xavier in return from 2-week pause," 25 Apr. 2021 But progressive groups are split on the issue, and the First Amendment questions at play have created unusual coalitions of conservative libertarian groups and left-leaning groups that advocate for individual liberties. Madeleine Carlisle, Time, "How a Supreme Court Case About Nonprofit Donations Could Affect America's Elections," 25 Apr. 2021 But state legislatures and judges, often sympathetic to the police, largely adopted the question of what would be reasonable to an officer making a split-second judgment as the test for assessing any police use of force, whether deadly or not. New York Times, "Split-Second Decisions: How a Supreme Court Case Shaped Modern Policing," 25 Apr. 2021 Periods of live action pitting the offense against the defense were split up by a series of individual drills or recreational competitions. Greg Luca, San Antonio Express-News, "Brady McBride shines as Texas State holds spring game despite depleted roster," 24 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Last of Us Part 2 had a wild ride, the center of a massive amount of controversy due to certain character deaths and its split narrative between Ellie and Abby. Paul Tassi, Forbes, "‘The Last Of Us Part 3’ Has An Outline, But There’s No Guarantee It’ll Get Made," 28 Apr. 2021 Simpson said the sentencing guidelines that took effect in 2013 and other factors, such as split sentencing, offset some of the impact of the HFOA. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Bill would give some Alabama inmates under habitual offender law chance for new sentence," 27 Apr. 2021 Even without accounting for individual or personal anxieties, Steinberg said the split reality of COVID-19 still circulating in the community even as vaccines become more widely available can lead to confusion and stress. Emily Brindley, courant.com, "Even after a COVID-19 vaccination, pandemic anxiety may persist. Here’s how you can cope as Connecticut reopens.," 26 Apr. 2021 Mark the split line on both sides the length of the log. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Unleash the Log With These Two Natural Wood Bench Builds," 24 Apr. 2021 This new teen thriller puts the split timeline device to jazzy, intriguing use: Each episode covers the same day in 1993, 1994 and 1995, with huge and awful differences year to year. New York Times, "How Much Watching Time Do You Have This Weekend?," 22 Apr. 2021 Any legislation in the evenly split chamber would require the support of at least 10 Republicans to overcome any filibuster. Trish Turner, ABC News, "Key lawmakers work on policing reform compromise in wake of the Chauvin conviction," 21 Apr. 2021 Parents of younger kids may have to keep making these split decisions a lot longer. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "We Are Turning COVID-19 Into a Young Person’s Disease," 21 Apr. 2021 States with split control but where one party had a veto-proof majority were categorized as being in that party’s control. Brian Mcgill, WSJ, "Where Voting Laws Are Most Likely to Change for the 2022 Election," 19 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Not surprisingly, the partisan split on this is night and day: 80 percent of Democrats approved of Newsom on school reopenings, while 79 percent of Republicans did not. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Faulconer doesn’t grab headlines, but makes the rounds on recall circuit," 2 May 2021 Now, other than its atrocious split-screen, Black Ops Cold War has (somehow) become my go-to Call Of Duty. Erik Kain, Forbes, "I’ve Completely Changed My Mind About ‘Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’," 27 Apr. 2021 But getting a separate bill approved would be an even bigger hurdle because 60 votes would be needed in the Senate to overcome a filibuster – a nearly impossible threshold to cross given the Senate’s 50-50 partisan split. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "Biden to sign executive order boosting minimum wage for federal contractors to $15 an hour," 27 Apr. 2021 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has agreed to an even partisan split on a commission to investigate the January 6 attack on Congress to jump-start talks with Republicans [CNN]. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, "‘The Rundown’: Sen. Mike Lee chats with an Avenger," 22 Apr. 2021 Democrats control the narrowest possible majority in a Senate with a 50-50 partisan split and Vice President Kamala Harris able to break ties. Clare Foran And Ted Barrett, CNN, "Key senators to watch on infrastructure negotiations," 21 Apr. 2021 Two-player split-screen play is also back, and Codemasters and EA Sports say loading times have been improved, leaving even more time for wheel-to-wheel racing. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, "F1 2021 Coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X on July 16," 15 Apr. 2021 The effect is something of split-screen for those observing America’s largest corporations, which are being pulled off the sidelines and into the social and political melee as employees and the public demand it. Washington Post, "Hot-button issues from voting rights to tax hikes redraw the lines in corporate America," 12 Apr. 2021 Go old-school with four-player split-screen mode or take your racing online with Mario Kart on the Switch. Gear Team, Wired, "The 21 Best Weekend Deals on TVs, Cameras, and Outdoor Gear," 13 Mar. 2021

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


1567, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for split


Dutch splitten, from Middle Dutch; akin to Middle High German splīzen to split and probably to Old High German spaltan to split

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Learn More about split

Statistics for split

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Split.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/split. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for split



English Language Learners Definition of split

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to break apart or into pieces especially along a straight line
: to separate or divide into parts or groups
: to separate or divide into groups that disagree



English Language Learners Definition of split (Entry 2 of 2)

: a narrow break, tear, or crack
: a division or separation in a group that is caused by a disagreement
: a clear separation or difference between two or more things


\ ˈsplit How to pronounce split (audio) \
split; splitting

Kids Definition of split

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to divide lengthwise or by layers split a log
2 : to separate into parts or groups A highway splits the neighborhood. Let's split up and search different areas.
3 : to burst or break apart or in pieces The melon fell and split open.
4 : to divide into shares or sections We split the profit.



Kids Definition of split (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a product or result of dividing, separating, or breaking apart : crack
2 : the act or process of dividing, separating, or breaking apart : division There's a split in that political party.
3 : an action or position in which a person's legs are extended in a straight line and in opposite directions



Kids Definition of split (Entry 3 of 3)

: divided by or as if by splitting We're split on what to do next.
\ ˈsplit How to pronounce split (audio) \
split; splitting

Medical Definition of split

: to divide or break down (a chemical compound) into constituents split a fat into glycerol and fatty acids also : to remove by such separation

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split; splitting

Legal Definition of split

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to divide into parts or portions: as
a : to divide into factions, parties, or groups
b : to mark (a ballot) or cast or register (a vote) so as to vote for candidates of different parties
c : to divide (stock) by issuing a larger number of shares to existing shareholders usually without increase in total par value — see also stock split
d : to divide (a cause of action) into separate parts or claims in order to institute an action for less than all

Note: Splitting a cause of action is usually prohibited.

intransitive verb

: to become divided or separated the Supreme Court, splitting five to four, sustained the law— R. H. Bork

Other Words from split

split noun



Legal Definition of split (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : divided into portions, parts, or fragments a split trial a split stock
2 : divided by or in opinion a split court a split decision

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