Definition of partition in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /pɑːˈtɪʃ(ə)n/


1 [mass noun] (Especially with reference to a country with separate areas of government) the action or state of dividing or being divided into parts: the country’s partition into separate states
More example sentences
  • In 1846 the British installed a Hindu prince as ruler, and Hindus governed the area until partition of the subcontinent in 1947.
  • In short, one way or another, the politics of secessionism, separatism and partition have only succeeded in entrenching international domination over the entire region.
  • In 1947 partition divided their homeland and those finding themselves in Pakistan suffered terrible losses making their way to India.
dividing up, partitioning, separation, division, dividing, subdivision, splitting, splitting up, split-up, breaking up, break-up, parting, segregation, severance
rare partitionment
1.1 Chemistry The distribution of a solute between two immiscible or slightly miscible solvents in contact with one another, in accordance with its differing solubility in each: [as modifier]: partition chromatography
More example sentences
  • Solutes with low water solubility will favour partition into the micelle and will be slow to elute from the CE column.
  • Plasma membranes were isolated using the two-phase aqueous polymer partition system.
  • According to the RNA polymerase partition model two interconvertible populations of RNA polymerase exist in the cell.
2A structure dividing a space into two parts, especially a light interior wall: the cafe was divided up by glass partitions
More example sentences
  • Use interior walls or partitions to redefine the garage space.
  • Light-colored walls and partitions make spaces feel bright and help distribute light around the space, filling in shadows and making minimum light levels easier to achieve.
  • Distribution of natural light through the use of glass walls, low workstation partitions or glass within the workstations is one of the most effective tools available for softening a workspace.
screen, divider, room divider, dividing wall, barrier, wall, fence, panel, separator
2.1 Computing Each of a number of portions into which some operating systems divide memory or storage: this takes a copy of hard disk partition information during installation
More example sentences
  • This way, you won't corrupt the operating system registries when you install applications, and make it easier to re-install the operating system partitions without affecting your data and other applications.
  • This system has two hard disks with six different operating systems using seven partitions.
  • One of the main problems is created by the fact that all the computers on the SAN see the same RAID partitions of a storage subsystem.


[with object]
1Divide into parts: an agreement was reached to partition the country
More example sentences
  • Their objective is to partition Macedonia, breaking off a chunk of territory on its western border as an Albanian enclave that would join with Kosovo and Albania.
  • More and more the division of labour partitioned the family, with Toye assuming total responsibility for the running of the house.
  • These statistics partition genetic diversity into subdivisions within and among populations.
divide, divide up, subdivide, separate, split, split up, cut up, carve up, break up, sever, segregate;
share, share out, parcel out, portion, portion out
1.1Divide (a room) into smaller rooms or areas by erecting partitions: the hall was partitioned to contain the noise of the computers partition off part of a large bedroom to create a small bathroom
More example sentences
  • The sink, dishwasher, fridge and so on are all either built behind the oversized cupboard that holds the crockery and also partitions the room, or behind one of the old doors that are no longer used.
  • Three-panel screens, big enough to partition a room with, can be fitted with full-size canvas images and cost from £475.
  • They snuck in and closed the door behind them, pulling the curtain shut that partitioned the room.
subdivide, separate, divide, divide up;
separate off, section, section off, screen off, wall off, fence off





Example sentences
  • If you were to take the partitionist view, as British media do with other things concerning Irish affairs, the case for coverage is even stronger.
  • But if republican violence, or the threat of it, continued to perform important functions for Adams' strategy, it was difficult to see it as more than a means of increasing the ‘green’ façade of what was clearly a partitionist settlement.
  • For a number of MLAs the limited experience of working a committee system with Sinn Fein seemed to demonstrate the fundamentally partitionist nature of the settlement.


Late Middle English: from Latin partitio(n-), from partiri 'divide into parts'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: par|ti¦tion

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.