\ 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

So the musician’s estate affairs were split between Tyka, and Prince’s half-siblings Jackson, Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson, John Nelson, and Omar Baker. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Alfred Jackson, Prince’s Half-Brother, Dead at 66," 31 Aug. 2019 The total compensation is just $12.1 million, however, which will need to be split between the litigants and the members of the class—basically, any customer who bought a Bulldozer chip and can attest to it. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "AMD settles Bulldozer class-action suit that could pay out up to $35 per chip," 28 Aug. 2019 Google had already withdrawn from the bidding, citing its belief that the project should be split among multiple providers. James Bandler, ProPublica, "How Amazon and Silicon Valley Seduced the Pentagon," 22 Aug. 2019 To recap: Cyrus split from her husband Liam Hemsworth, and promptly headed to Italy with Kaitlynn Carter, who had recently split from a husband of her own. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Miley Cyrus Got a Very Badass New Tattoo," 22 Aug. 2019 Palm Beach County voters approved a one-cent sales tax increase in 2016 that is being split among schools and municipalities for construction projects. Lois K. Solomon, sun-sentinel.com, "Schools to get more portable classrooms in coming years," 21 Aug. 2019 Starting with oxygen gas, the team will split its nucleus into a helium nucleus, also known as an alpha particle, and a carbon-12 nucleus. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Where Does the Oxygen in the Universe Come From, Exactly?," 21 Aug. 2019 Hidary, 47, grew up in New York and now splits time between there and Los Angeles. John Meyer, The Know, "Free “SilentHike” gives people headphones to listen to mindfulness commentary while hiking," 10 Aug. 2019 And Soto, who split time as a kid between East Dallas and Michoacán, Mexico, already has a book-length work of poetry scheduled for publication by Deep Vellum in 2020. Dan Singer, Dallas News, "Three Dallas poets plan reading at Deep Vellum, as publisher sends their latest works to press," 8 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

After a split vote on City Council about 15 months ago, the purveyors of prime poultry never looked back. Thomas Jewell, cleveland.com, "The Chick-fil-A has landed in Solon; Aldi’s and Hobby Lobby to follow suit," 2 Sep. 2019 Power running game, counter, split zone, all that stuff. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "What Mario Cristobal said as Oregon preps to move on to Nevada," 2 Sep. 2019 In November, following more than three hours of split testimony, the city of St. Paul’s Heritage Preservation Commission voted 8-1 to support a local historic designation that would stop or slow demolition. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "State board supports national historic status for old St. Andrew’s Church, posthumously," 27 Aug. 2019 If Three Sparks and the Donut Defense keep this up, Van Oekel is going to have trouble getting off the ground to make all those split-second, reactionary saves. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Birmingham Legion FC’s ‘Donut Defense’ is winning hearts and crushing calories," 17 Aug. 2019 Both showed why on Saturday afternoon in the first game of a split doubleheader against the team’s limping rival, the Boston Red Sox. James Wagner, New York Times, "Yankees Continue to Add to the Red Sox’ Frustrations," 3 Aug. 2019 First, the Nationals will have to play a split doubleheader with the Rockies on Wednesday. Jesse Dougherty, The Denver Post, "Nationals ace Max Scherzer to return against Rockies on Thursday," 24 July 2019 The city’s plan commission was split on the vote whether or not to recommend the plan at their May 14 meeting. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Despite resident opposition, Oak Creek's rentable single-family modular home project moves closer to approval," 19 June 2019 Last month, a split council voted to give Pietig a raise of 2.5% in each of the next two years, making his salary about $280,000 annually, according to Gavin Curran, the city’s director of administrative services. Daily Pilot, "Laguna Beach council to consider 10% pay raise for assistant city manager," 19 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Breaking her silence about the split, Miley shared an Instagram post from the top of a mountain. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "The 8 Best Celebrity Breakup Looks," 13 Aug. 2019 This is about his development as a split-second decision maker. Rich Campbell, chicagotribune.com, "5 observations from Bears practice Sunday, including Eddie Jackson’s interception of Mitch Trubisky and upping the kicking ante," 27 July 2019 The lawsuit has dragged on for more than three years and has come to represent the bitter split in the city over the pace of development. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "City says plaintiffs dumped deal to end lawsuit over Plano Tomorrow development plan," 18 July 2019 Ashford University would become one of Zovio’s first technology customers following the split. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Zovio gets OK from accreditation body to spin off Ashford University," 16 July 2019 The other eight justices, apparently hoping to avoid a 4-4 split in the dispute, scheduled it for reargument this fall. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court Steps to the Right," 1 July 2019 Readers are immersed in the girl’s state of mind but can also see what her experience looks like from the outside. Rabbits for Food, by Binnie Kirshenbaum, shows a similar split in perspective. Rosa Inocencio Smith, The Atlantic, "Two Novels That Make Mental Illness Legible," 22 June 2019 Over the last few decades the labor/capital split in Germany has moved from 67/33 to 60/40, and in Japan from 55/45 to 52/48. David Webber, The New York Review of Books, "Labor’s Last Hope?," 17 June 2019 And, sure enough, a few hours before news broke about the split, Irina was spotted quietly carrying a heavy suitcase and some other bags out of their L.A. home. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Ouch—Irina Shayk Was Spotted Carrying a Suitcase Hours Before the Bradley Cooper Split News Broke," 7 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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Learn More about split

Statistics for split

Last Updated

17 Sep 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).


to make a temporary encampment

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