Definition of divide in English:


Line breaks: div¦ide
Pronunciation: /dɪˈvʌɪd


  • 2Disagree or cause to disagree: [with object]: the question had divided Frenchmen since the Revolution (as adjective divided) a divided party leadership [no object]: cities where politicians frequently divide along racial lines
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    • Drawing from the views of a wide variety of people living and working in the district, it described a city living in the grip of fear, divided along racial, religious and class lines.
    • But I was rather startled by how people have become sharply divided along political lines, and the positions that have been assumed.
    • I figure that opinions of this one will be pretty much divided along partisan lines.
  • 3 [with object] Mathematics Find how many times (a number) contains another: 36 divided by 2 equals 18
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    • The next problem is how to multiply and divide numbers involving fractions.
    • The employment rate is simply the number employed divided by the size of the population.
    • Wouldn't it be nice if dividing fractions were as easy as dividing whole numbers?
  • 3.1 [no object] (Of a number) be susceptible of division without a remainder: 30 does not divide by 8
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    • What happens if the numbers do not divide exactly?
    • You check whether 15 divides by 2, and it doesn't.
    • Two of these numbers divide by 5 with no remainder.
  • 3.2Find how many times (a number) is contained in another: divide 4 into 20
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    • If the hurricane was moving at 5 miles an hour and was expected to pass very close to your location, then divide 5 into 100. The answer is 20.
    • How do you divide 6 into 612?
    • If you divide 2 into 13983816 you get 6991908 or exactly half.
  • 3.3 [no object] (Of a number) be contained in a number without a remainder: 3 divides into 15
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    • Which other numbers exactly divide into (are factors of) Fibonacci numbers?
    • 5 divides into 10 evenly.
    • When dividing by the powers of the new base, it is important not to leave out any of the powers, even if the number does not divide into it.


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  • 1A difference or disagreement between two groups, typically producing tension: there was still a profound cultural divide between the parties
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    • Secondly, by encouraging a drinking culture in younger people, the divide between young and old only widens.
    • Until today, the Coalition has coasted through this rift without rancour even though there's a huge divide between the two sides.
    • A society where the social divide between haves and have-nots has become a chasm is a society that breeds violence and brutality.
  • 1.1A boundary between two things: symbolically, the difference of sex is a divide
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    • The appearance is dramatic and bold, straddling the divide between classic and modern.
    • For Williams, the divide between popular and elite art is the difference between art that makes people comfortable and art that shocks and makes you think.
    • The divide between the digital and tangible is blurring…
    breach, gulf, gap, split, divergence, differentiation; borderline, boundary, dividing line
  • 1.2chiefly US A ridge or line of high ground forming the division between two valleys or river systems.
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    • The Blue Nile and White Nile tributaries share a drainage divide with the Omo River.
    • The river meets a divide, and darkness spreads in four directions.
    • To the officials and the sheep men of Sydney, the rivers which flowed inland from the western slopes of the divide were rivers filled with much promise.


divide and rule (or conquer)

The policy of maintaining control over one’s subordinates or opponents by encouraging dissent between them, thereby preventing them from uniting in opposition: the politics of divide and rule in society
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  • The partition plan flowed from Britain's policy of divide and rule.
  • It was playing the old bosses' game of divide and rule to prevent workers' full power being unleashed.
  • As a result of early colonial policies of divide and conquer, the regional governments tended to be drawn along ethnic lines.

divided against itself

(Of a group which should be coherent) split by factional interests: the regime is profoundly divided against itself
More example sentences
  • Political and economic instability relentlessly stalked Europe in the first half of the twentieth century, and it was divided against itself in a bitter ideological battle for much of the second half.
  • Europe, viciously divided against itself for centuries, has knit together into a democratic and civil society.
  • If this Party is to continue to win elections in North Carolina, it cannot be divided against itself.


Middle English (as a verb): from Latin dividere 'force apart, remove'. The noun dates from the mid 17th century.

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Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little