\ 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 After splitting from Travis Scott, Kylie has reportedly started hanging out with Drake. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner and Drake Are Reportedly Hanging Out Together "Romantically"," 6 Nov. 2019 Penske was instantly hooked and has missed only six Indianapolis 500s since, five of which came when the IndyCar Series was formed by Tony George and split from CART. CBS News, "Racing mogul Roger Penske buys Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar Series," 4 Nov. 2019 In a 35-7 win over previously undefeated Simsbury, junior quarterback Brady Lafferty threw four touchdown passes — giving him 17 on the year after splitting reps with junior Shane Laporte for the first half of the season. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "High school football: Southington is back, Rockville is the real deal, Sheehan vs. Cheshire is a must-watch game and other takeaways from Week 8," 3 Nov. 2019 Selena Gomez has been living the ultimate single life after splitting up from ex Justin Bieber two years ago. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Who Is Selena Gomez’s Ex-Boyfriend Samuel Krost?," 31 Oct. 2019 Edgewater owns the series lead 45-20-2 over Orange County rival Boone since the schools split from old Orlando High in 1952. J.c. Carnahan, orlandosentinel.com, "Boone hosts Edgewater for Spirit Barrel to cap regular season | Week 11 predictions," 29 Oct. 2019 Selena Gomez is ready to put herself out there nearly two years after splitting with on-again, off-again ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber. Natasha Reda, Glamour, "Selena Gomez Will ‘Do So Many Things Differently’ in Her Next Relationship," 27 Oct. 2019 The two women clashed early on before reconciling in the early ’90s, after Diana split from Charles. Chuck Barney, Detroit Free Press, "TV highlights for the week of Oct. 27-Nov. 2," 26 Oct. 2019 All the other possibilities split off from us, each giving rise to its own separate world. NBC News, "The weirdest idea in quantum physics is catching on: There may be endless worlds with countless versions of you.," 22 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective And in December, a split U.S. appeals court upheld the state’s new law. NBC News, "Want to save lives in mass shootings? Ban large-capacity magazines, researchers say," 17 Oct. 2019 The worst home beating of all time came in 1954, a 61-0 throttling by UCLA, which went on a split national championship. oregonlive, "The sky is not falling on Oregon State, Utah edition: 10 takeaways from a 52-7 Beavers beatdown," 13 Oct. 2019 Commissioners originally voted for the increase at a split vote of 3-2 down party lines, with the Democrat commissioners in favor of it. Paul Wedding, Houston Chronicle, "Cagle talks to Tomball Chamber about county’s proposed tax hike," 2 Oct. 2019 The two quickly realize that the existing house—which is a split level—is too small to fit all the rooms and an addition must be added using space from the backyard that won’t change the street view. Selena Barrientos, House Beautiful, "A Very Brady Renovation," 10 Sep. 2019 Williams and Mitchell split snaps throughout Sunday’s loss. Dan Labbe, cleveland.com, "Greedy Williams earns surprise start Sunday; Austin Corbett stuck waiting: Things we learned about the Browns on Monday," 9 Sep. 2019 Cyr, who played at Dr. Phillips last fall, split time as West Orange’s starting quarterback in 2017. J.c. Carnahan, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando area Week 2 high school football predictions," 29 Aug. 2019 With what is currently the largest primary field in recent history, a split outcome in the first two contests in Iowa and New Hampshire would leave a big opening for a presidential hopeful in Nevada. Alexander Tin, CBS News, "2020 Democrats hope powerful Nevada union can help serve them a win," 23 Aug. 2019 The officer, who didn't know Harper was unarmed, was forced to make a split-second decision, his attorneys argue. Lavendrick Smith, Dallas News, "Civil trial begins in Dallas police shooting that nearly triggered riot in Dixon Circle," 21 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Amid their split, Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott reunited with daughter Stormi Webster in Houston, Texas, last weekend to support Scott at his Astroworld Festival. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner Takes Stormi Webster to Astroworld for a Travis Scott Reunion," 11 Nov. 2019 After rumors of their split began circling online, the Alaskan Bush People star confirmed the news on Instagram with a heartbreaking post. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Bear Brown Confirms His Second Break Up With Pregnant Ex-Fiancee Raiven Adams," 10 Nov. 2019 See below for a full chronological list of what Rage Against the Machine has been up to since their original 2000 split. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Here's Everything Rage Against the Machine Has Been Up to Since Their Split," 6 Nov. 2019 In September 2019, Moore and Daly issued separate statements confirming their split. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "There's Hope! Kenya Moore Admits She And Marc Daly Are 'Still In Love'," 5 Nov. 2019 The dark rock band led by Gerard Way has just announced a reunion show, the group’s first performance since their split back in 2013. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "My Chemical Romance announce reunion show and we're not okay (we promise)," 31 Oct. 2019 Since their split, Miley and Liam have kept things civil. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Miley Cyrus's New Neighbor Might Be Liam Hemsworth," 30 Oct. 2019 Fresh off their weekend split with the rival Nanooks of UAF, the Seawolves return to home ice Thursday and Friday for a nonconference series against Nebraska Omaha. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "UAA notebook: A women’s basketball romp, a home-opener for men’s hoops, and more hockey home games," 30 Oct. 2019 Liam Hemsworth is reportedly completely unfazed by his ex Miley Cyrus’s highly publicized relationships following their split in August. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Apparently, Liam Hemsworth Doesn’t Care About Miley Cyrus’s Relationship Status," 22 Oct. 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

14 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for split

The first known use of split was in 1567

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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

Comments on split

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