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Synonym Chooser

How is the word divide distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of divide are divorce, part, separate, sever, and sunder. While all these words mean "to become or cause to become disunited or disjointed," divide implies separating into pieces or sections by cutting or breaking.

civil war divided the nation

In what contexts can divorce take the place of divide?

The words divorce and divide are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, divorce implies separating two things that commonly interact and belong together.

cannot divorce scientific research from moral responsibility

When can part be used instead of divide?

While in some cases nearly identical to divide, part implies the separating of things or persons in close union or association.

vowed never to part

When would separate be a good substitute for divide?

In some situations, the words separate and divide are roughly equivalent. However, separate may imply any of several causes such as dispersion, removal of one from others, or presence of an intervening thing.

separated her personal life from her career

When might sever be a better fit than divide?

The words sever and divide can be used in similar contexts, but sever implies violence especially in the removal of a part or member.

a severed limb

When is sunder a more appropriate choice than divide?

While the synonyms sunder and divide are close in meaning, sunder suggests violent rending or wrenching apart.

a city sundered by racial conflict

Thesaurus Entries Near divide

Cite this Entry

“Divide.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/divide. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

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