\ 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


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.


opinions are split on the subject


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

Formerly Known as Prince in protest at Warner Brothers’ ownership of his recordings, and his catalogue is now bafflingly split: Warner owns everything released before 1996, Sony everything after. M.h., The Economist, "The relationship between musicians, master recordings and record labels," 8 July 2019 Lineth Beerensteyn got in behind the defense, splitting the U.S.'s high-playing center backs, but Alyssa Naeher, the semifinal goalkeeping hero, raced off her line to clear it to safety and prevent the chance from coming to fruition. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "USA Wins Fourth Women's World Cup Title, Outlasts Netherlands in Final," 7 July 2019 With the four superstars in L.A. now split off into pairs, Golden State can hope that its own star duo of Stephen Curry and Draymond Green can guide a deep playoff run thanks to unmatched continuity and chemistry. Ben Golliver, The Denver Post, "Winners and losers from the Kawhi Leonard-Paul George bombshell," 6 July 2019 Lawmakers and regulators have released wide-ranging proposals for an overhaul of the audit sector, including making U.K. accounting firms split their audit and consulting businesses. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "U.K. Regulator Fines Deloitte Over Audit of Outsourcing Company Unit," 5 July 2019 For the following two seasons, the league returned to Fox, splitting broadcasts between FS1 and Fox Sports Go, the company’s streaming platform. Julia Poe And Iliana Limón Romero, Pro Soccer USA, "ESPN, NWSL announce broadcast partnership for remainder of 2019 season," 5 July 2019 Jabrill Peppers was the primary punt returner and split time on kickoffs over the last two seasons. Scott Patsko, cleveland.com, "Can Mike Priefer improve the Browns special teams? Cleveland Browns 19 questions," 3 July 2019 The music industry is pretty much split in half these days as everyone is running to take sides in the great Scooter Braun vs. Taylor Swift Debate of 2019. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Panic At the Disco’s Brendon Urie Just Called Scooter Braun a "Piece of Sh*t"," 2 July 2019 Parsley is seeking permission from the Railroad Commission to drill nine horizontal wells targeting the Spraberry on six leases split between Upton and Martin counties. Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, "Drilling Down: Parsley Energy to hit milestone in Spraberry formation," 1 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Nunes stopped Holly Holm late in the first round to defend her bantamweight title, and Jones squeaked out a split-decision victory over Thiago Santos to defend his light heavyweight title on Saturday night. Greg Beacham, courant.com, "Nunes, Jones win at UFC 239," 8 July 2019 In the headline bout, Jon Jones squeaked out a split-decision victory over Thiago Santos to defend his light heavyweight title. BostonGlobe.com, "Christian Yelich will pass up Home Run Derby," 7 July 2019 Commissioner Rob Manfred said last week the low-drawing Rays may explore a split season in Montreal. Ronald Blum, baltimoresun.com, "Baseball union: Player approval needed for Rays to play in Montreal," 28 June 2019 Hickenlooper said in the video, touting a record of expanding Medicaid with a split state legislature and getting oil and gas companies and environmentalists to compromise on methane regulations. Tara Golshan, Vox, "John Hickenlooper’s 2020 presidential campaign and policy positions, explained," 26 June 2019 In addition, with a split power structure, every Democrat and Republican in the state is represented. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: A split in power would benefit St. Paul city government," 19 June 2019 An off-duty Chicago police officer had to make a split-second decision when he was cut off by another motorist early Sunday. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas, chicagotribune.com, "1 killed, 1 injured after off-duty officer swerves to avoid car and instead crashes into Gresham restaurant," 9 June 2019 The designer has never shied away from wear-testing her clothes, and her latest style experiment was the split front, flared trouser. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Victoria Beckham Celebrates 10 Years in the Business With a Brand New Look," 16 Sep. 2018 Williams walks over to a large cage and picks out a fat gray rat with an ivory belly and a split ear from a youthful brawl. Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic, "How rats became an inescapable part of city living," 17 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Taiwan split from China in 1949, and has no formal diplomatic ties with the U.S. America is Taiwan’s main supplier of defensive weapons. Washington Post, "State Department proposes $2 billion sale of arms to Taiwan," 8 July 2019 But in December, Bradley made an amicable split with Sohocki and rebranded Ramen Bar as Kuriya @ Cherrity Bar. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "Review: Kuriya @ Cherrity Bar delivers Japanese ramen with San Antonio charm," 3 July 2019 That same year Camila split from Fifth Harmony and became a solo act. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Camila Cabello's Net Worth Is High Enough For Endless Trips to "Havana"," 1 July 2019 Meanwhile, split and toast the buns until lightly golden. Simran Singh, The Mercury News, "Quick Cook: Sensational Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches," 29 June 2019 Javier Baez rocked a Seth Lugo slider into the right-field bleachers Sunday, salvaging a series split and giving manager Joe Maddon a restful night’s sleep heading into a four-game series with the Braves. Teddy Greenstein, chicagotribune.com, "4 takeaways from the Cubs-Mets series, including Javier Baez’s big moment, Anthony Rizzo’s odd run and Cole Hamels’ ‘shocking’ single," 24 June 2019 Over the weekend, Irina shared the first pictures of herself after the split on Instagram and appears to be doing just fine, tyvm. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Irina Shayk Posts First Post-Split Pictures Since Breaking Up with Bradley Cooper," 9 June 2019 As such there will be some changes to the previously advertised lineup, stage splits and times. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "Cardi B Pulls Out of Manchester's Parklife Festival," 5 June 2019 The public split and looming standoff over 5 percent tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico revealed a fundamental divergence in values between the president and his party. Darlene Superville, The Denver Post, "GOP lawmakers warn White House they’ll try to block Trump’s Mexico tariffs," 4 June 2019

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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Statistics for split

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for split

The first known use of split was in 1567

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on split

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with split

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on split

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

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