\ 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 15-member council has been split, with most members pitted against Syrian ally Russia and China, who want to cut the number of border crossings to one, arguing those areas can be reached with humanitarian help from within Syria. NBC News, "Russia, China veto aid to Syria via Turkey at U.N. Security Council," 10 July 2020 The Barry star, 42, and The O.C. alumna, 38, have amicably split, multiple sources tell PEOPLE. Natalie Stone, PEOPLE.com, "Bill Hader and Rachel Bilson Split 6 Months After Going Public," 10 July 2020 Dallas delegates had been split over whether to attend. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Houston cancels in-person Texas GOP convention amid coronavirus epidemic," 8 July 2020 Byrnes says the community's response has been split. Chanel Stitt, Detroit Free Press, "Dearborn City Council member hopes Hubbard name removal will take place this summer," 27 June 2020 While commercial insurers have borne about 60% of the costs and can raise premiums in response, uninsured people, Medicare and state-run Medi-Cal have split the remainder. Anna Kramer, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus has cost California health insurers $2.4 billion so far," 25 June 2020 My grandmother planted aloe that have been split into many pods. Kristine M. Kierzek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Three Brothers restaurant's traditions, family love go even deeper than the 63 years it's been in business," 25 June 2020 The donations have been roughly evenly split between Republicans and Democrats in the most recent two election cycles. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: The government says you can now invest your 401(k) in private equity. Be very afraid," 19 June 2020 The in-store Record Store Day has been split among three Saturdays - Aug. 29, Sept. 26 and Oct. 24. cleveland, "I Love Record Stores takes World Record Store Day virtual - concert guide," 17 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Greek Cypriot government of the ethnically split island has slammed Turkey for encroaching in its waters and economic rights. Washington Post, "Turkey calls on EU to be ‘honest’ in dispute with members," 6 July 2020 Urías was finally given the green light to return and slated to be in the starting lineup in a split-squad game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on March 12, but rain scuttled those plans. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The waiting game continues for Brewers shortstop Luis Urías, who has caught no breaks in 2020," 9 July 2020 Scorpionfish, Bakopoulos’s second novel, is told from the split perspective of two neighbors living in Athens: Mira, an anthropology professor, and a sailor known only as The Captain. Megan Evershed, The New Republic, "Reading the Literature of Grief During a Pandemic," 9 July 2020 Tuesday, Augie Fernandez, 33, Andy Farias, 30, and Eric Willitt, 26, spread throughout the one-story house to install four ductless mini-split units in the bedrooms and living room. Vincent T. Davis, ExpressNews.com, "New program helps nonprofits and young members stay cool during San Antonio’s extreme summer heat," 8 July 2020 Senate Republicans appeared split, with some defending the president. Editors, USA TODAY, "Dueling jobs reports, Russia briefing, John Bolton's book: 5 things to know Thursday," 3 July 2020 For some, the chaos played out on split-screen television broadcasts as the president strode to the front of St. John’s Episcopal Church and delivered remarks for a gaggle of cameras. Washington Post, "Congress begins probe into federal officers’ use of force to clear protesters near Lafayette Square," 29 June 2020 The sign, which sits in the wooded median to the north of Research Forest Drive in the split lane segment of Grogan’s Mill Road, has been damaged for weeks after motor vehicle accidents damaged the stone sign. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Township News & Notes: Bear Branch rec center closed due to COVID-19," 29 June 2020 As SuperData analyst Carter Rogers explained, Mixer, despite some innovative features like a split-screen viewing mode, was ultimately too similar to Twitch and not compelling enough to gain a mass audience. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "What Mixer’s meltdown means for Microsoft," 25 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Patrick Yoes, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, testified before the Senate last week, saying the doctrine grants officers the discretion to make split-second decisions when their lives could be at risk. Tyler Kendall, CBS News, "Qualified immunity is at the forefront of the debate on policing," 6 July 2020 Twin Galaxies hasn't responded at length to Guinness World Records' recent decision to reinstate Mitchell's records, causing a split between two organizations that have long cooperated on video game score adjudication. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Twin Galaxies says Billy Mitchell “flirts with perjury” in high-score case [Updated]," 1 July 2020 Of the 111 companies Female Founders Fund queried, 44% are considered Series A stage, with the rest split between pre-seed, seed, and growth stage businesses. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, "Here’s how the coronavirus crisis has affected female founders," 24 June 2020 Trump campaign senior adviser Bob Paduchik, who ran the president’s successful Ohio efforts in 2016 and was directly involved in the split with Borges, did not respond to a text message seeking comment about Borges or his new group. cleveland, "John Kasich allies on the forefront of GOP-led effort to defeat Donald Trump," 17 June 2020 Scott Disick and Sofia Richie appear to be spending more time together following their split! Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Sofia Richie and Scott Disick Reunite Again After Spending Time Together on Fourth of July," 13 July 2020 Another new feature compared to recent F1 games is the return of split-screen (local) multiplayer, which joins the online multiplayer and esports modes for those who don't want to just race against the AI. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "F1 2020 reviewed—Codemasters takes another racing game win," 6 July 2020 Expect the Cowboys to use a much higher percentage of split-safety coverage along with more pre-snap disguise from the Cowboys defense. John Owning, Dallas News, "3 Cowboys defenders who could thrive under DC Mike Nolan: Is LB Jaylon Smith due for bounce-back season?," 1 July 2020 The two sides had appeared headed for a split for years. Alfred Miller, The Courier-Journal, "Brown-Forman says Bacardi stiffing the Jack Daniel's owner out of more than $60 million," 1 July 2020

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

Time Traveler for split

Time Traveler

The first known use of split was in 1567

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Statistics for split

Last Updated

26 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Split.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/split. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for split


How to pronounce Split (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on split

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for split

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with split

Spanish Central: Translation of split

Nglish: Translation of split for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of split for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about split

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