Definition of divisive in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /dɪˈvʌɪsɪv/


Tending to cause disagreement or hostility between people: the highly divisive issue of abortion
More example sentences
  • The abortion issue has opened up the historically divisive issue to wider debate.
  • Abortion has always been a very polarising, divisive issue that is irreconcilable.
  • The Trade Ministers will attempt to build bridges in the divisive but linchpin issue of farm trade.
alienating, estranging, isolating, schismatic;
discordant, disharmonious, inharmonious



Example sentences
  • ‘Never trust anyone over 30,’ they used to say, divisively.
  • The play will bring the 20th Century's most ‘notorious tyrant’ daringly and divisively on to the stage.
  • But I did witness him destroy characters who criticised our great leaders and act divisively in my party.


Mid 16th century (as a noun denoting something that divides or separates): from late Latin divisivus, from Latin dividere (see divide).

Words that rhyme with divisive

decisive, derisive, incisive

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: div|isive

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.