There are 2 main definitions of split in English:

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split 1

Pronunciation: /splɪt/

verb (splits, splitting, split)

1Break or cause to break forcibly into parts, especially into halves or along the grain: [no object]: the ice cracked and split [with object]: split and toast the muffins
More example sentences
  • Warping, splitting along the grain, the breaking apart of joins, the flaking of paint and ground from the wooden substrate, and insect damage are all commonly encountered.
  • The wooden barrel guard was split along half its length and the barrel itself was badly corroded.
  • A mineral that has cleavage will break or split along planes.
break, chop, cut, hew, lop, cleave;
informal bust
break apart, fracture, rupture, fissure, snap, come apart, splinter
1.1Remove or be removed by breaking, separating, or dividing: [no object]: a group of Nottinghamshire miners split away to create a separate union
More example sentences
  • Meanwhile, the material management operation was split off into a separate company.
  • The division was split off as a separate company in 1871.
  • They have disapproved of the way the chief spokesman was appointed as well as the manner in which some constituents split away and held separate meetings.
1.2Divide or cause to divide into parts or elements: [no object]: the river had split into a number of channels splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen
More example sentences
  • It left me absolutely dumbfounded to see the 25-foot high walls, to see how towns have been split into two.
  • Under the new scheme, the town centre will be split into 12 different zones which council bosses claim could be cleared in minutes.
  • The cotton country on this farm is split into two separate developments of about 1250 acres each.
fork, divide in two, divide, bifurcate, go in different directions, diverge, branch
rare divaricate
1.3 [with object] Divide and share (something, especially resources or responsibilities): they met up and split the booty
More example sentences
  • But splitting his responsibilities with another MP would at least save him the indignity of being sacked.
  • Stalin urged that the invasion should be launched as early as possible so that the Germans would be forced to split their resources between the Eastern and Western fronts.
  • We then split the responsibility in terms of who does what.
1.4 [with object] Cause the fission of (an atom): it could ultimately prove as significant an achievement as splitting the atom
More example sentences
  • It will be powered by a fission reactor that will split uranium atoms, releasing heat that can be converted into electricity.
  • Like the atoms that must be split for a fission bomb to explode, modern-day Lahore is itself divided: between old and new, rich and poor, conservative and liberal.
  • Our own Ernest Walton split the atom using something remarkably similar, but it all sounds so, well, physical, doesn't it?
2(With reference to a group of people) divide into two or more groups: [no object]: let’s split up and find the other two [with object]: once again the family was split up
More example sentences
  • They would split up at earliest opportunity and the rival students would be forced to split into smaller groups as they tried to find the intruders.
  • They have all been split up and sent to other homes, so we have promised to keep in touch.
  • The family would have been split up at a time when we most needed one another.
2.1 [no object] End a marriage or an emotional or working relationship: after the band split up Tex became a railway clerk
More example sentences
  • It is a few days before Valentine's Day and he has recently split up with Clementine after a relationship that lasted a year.
  • Readers don't need to know what bloggers had for breakfast or whether they have split up with their girlfriend or not.
  • The lack of legal protection also means that many men who have split up with the mothers of their children have been frozen out of their children's upbringing, and have to go to court if they want to get access.
break up, separate, part, part company, become estranged, reach a parting of the ways;
divorce, get a divorce, get divorced
British informal bust up
2.2 [with object] (Of an issue) cause (a group) to be divided because of opposing views: the party was deeply split over its future direction
More example sentences
  • The European Union, in fact, is deeply split over such issues as its budget and constitution.
  • The survey, conducted between mid-April and mid-June, found most ethnic groups were evenly split on the issue of national identity.
  • By 1972 the Democratic Party in North Carolina was deeply split over the issue of race.
divide, disunite, separate, sever;
bisect, partition
literary tear asunder, cleave, rend
archaic sunder, rive
3 [no object] informal (Of one’s head) suffer great pain from a headache: my head is splitting (as adjective splitting) a splitting headache
More example sentences
  • I have to get out of here - my head is absolutely splitting.
  • My head was splitting and I could barely breathe.
  • Her head was splitting and the light made it feel even worse.
4 [no object] British informal Betray the secrets of or inform on someone: I told him I wouldn’t split on him
More example sentences
  • Hence, for instance, the new act of parliament that protects people from victimisation if they split on their bosses.
inform on/against, tell tales on, give away, sell out, stab in the back
informal tell on, squeal on, blow the whistle on, rat on, peach on, stitch up, do the dirty on, sell down the river
British informal grass on, shop
North American informal rat out, drop a/the dime on, finger
Australian informal pimp on, pool, put someone's pot on
5 [no object] informal Leave a place, especially suddenly: ‘Let’s split,’ Harvey said
More example sentences
  • It was a wonderful venue - pity about the DJ - but not quite up to par so we split early and headed for another club to dance what was left of the night away.


1A tear, crack, or fissure in something, especially down the middle or along the grain: splits appeared in the decaying planks light squeezed through a small split in the curtain
More example sentences
  • A small split has appeared along the chest area as well.
  • I accept the evidence of Mr. Pearson and Mr. Glendon with respect to their observations of the crack or split or fissure in the tubing.
  • Make sure windscreen wipers are in good condition without any splits or tears
1.1An instance or act of splitting or being split; a division: a 75-25 split of proceeds the split between the rich and the poor
More example sentences
  • But as you know, there's a lot of people concerned about the split, the division between the executive and the legislative branch.
  • This seems to be just another instance of the classic split between graphic design and information design.
  • With only three games left before the split into three divisions every result now takes on even greater importance.
1.2A separation into parties or within a party; a schism: the accusations caused a split in the party
More example sentences
  • Meanwhile, the splits within his party, he claims, have been devastating.
  • The split within the party has led to tactical shifts in which conservatives and Democrats often team up to embarrass the ruling moderate Republicans.
  • There are a lot of reasons for this failure, including the long-time split within the party between hawks and doves.
1.3An ending of a marriage or other relationship: a much-publicized split with his wife
More example sentences
  • The radio star and DJ have blamed hectic work schedules for causing their marriage split.
  • Richard Cooper, defending, told the court of the marriage split which drove Franklyn to the drugs.
  • Is this evidence of one of the first Hollywood relationships with a friendly split?
2 (the splits or US also a split) (In gymnastics and dance) an act of leaping in the air or sitting down with the legs straight and at right angles to the body, one in front and the other behind, or one at each side: I could never do the splits before
More example sentences
  • I may be 230 lb but I can do the splits and dance the Cajun two-step for two hours.
  • Remember the days when you could effortlessly do the splits, kick like a Rockette and put your foot behind your head on a dare?
  • They soar, spin, and dive to the floor, then spiral swiftly back to shoulder stands, splits and endless balances.
3A thing that is divided or split, in particular:
Example sentences
  • Nor do we have all of the split posts, as there are too many half splits with the central pith intact.
  • Dots for each bar indicate taxa on one half of the split.
3.1A bun, roll, or cake that is split or cut in half.
3.2A split osier used in basketwork.
Example sentences
  • So you come back and you hit the stick of wood right in the middle, right through here, and it'll give you two splits.
  • Seating himself on his accustomed stool, he began to weave the splits dexterously in an out.
  • Then as he walked, he wove the splits into a basket to be traded at the store for whatever provisions the family needed.
3.3Each strip of steel or cane that makes up the reed in a loom.
Example sentences
  • Tweeling is produced by increasing the number of threads in each split of the reed.
  • After the warp ends have been threaded individually through wire eyes on the shafts, they are sleyed collectively through each split in the reed.
3.4Half a bottle of champagne.
Example sentences
  • We drank a split of Taittinger Brut champagne during the appetizers, and our patience was rewarded.
  • You see, back then, it was cool to drink a split.
3.5A single thickness of split hide.
Example sentences
  • His factory didn't even tan the split (another part of the leather making process); they'd sell them off to be made into gloves or whatever.
  • They use only quality top-grain leather in their products and do not use leather splits or vinyls.
3.6(In tenpin bowling) a formation of standing pins after the first ball in which there is a gap between two pins or groups of pins, making a spare unlikely.
Example sentences
  • If you look around and don't see as many strikes, and a lot of splits or spares are on the board, the lanes probably are playing a little bit tougher.
  • The big-hook players leave many more difficult spares and splits than a player with a narrower angle of entry.
  • Also, when you're bowling well, the miss-hits don't leave you with big splits and tough spares.
3.7US A split-level house.
Example sentences
  • My house is a split, so the basement is only under the main part of the house.
  • The fact that your home is a split should not be a major factor here.
4The time taken to complete a recognized part of a race, or the point in the race where such a time is measured.
Example sentences
  • As a fierce relay anchor, Correia has the fastest 50 and 100-yard freestyle relay splits in history.
  • The talk was of stroke-rates, times, splits, lactate curves, heart rate, aerobic thresholds.
  • Over the last two years, Davis has kept a chart of Thorpe's record times and splits on the wall of his bedroom.
5North American A drawn match or series.
Example sentences
  • SFU's women's basketball squad pulled off a split in two tight matches against the Dinos on Jan.13 and 14.
  • At Miami, Carlos Delgado hit a pinch-hit grand slam to cap a six-run fifth inning for Florida to salvage a split in the four-game series.
  • As the Series headed north after a split at Edison Field, the styles had been established but not an advantage.



split the difference

Take the average of two proposed amounts.
Example sentences
  • In this case, you cannot simply split the difference, by taking the mean average; you must decide which turnout model is going to be correct, the one or the other.
  • If we split the difference and say that the average price of statins is $90 a month, that's $1,080 a year for drugs and $210 a year for labs.
  • Well, if the House wants $550 billion in tax cuts, the Senate approved $350 billion, what, do you just split the difference and come up with $450 billion?

split hairs

see hair.

split one's sides (North American also split a gut)

informal Be convulsed with laughter.
Example sentences
  • This year they will have audiences splitting their sides with laughter with their crazy antics.
  • They can bring tears or make people split their sides with laughter.
  • Everyone split their sides, they were laughing so hard.
roar with laughter, laugh, guffaw, roar, laugh loudly, howl with laughter, dissolve into laughter, be creased up, be doubled up
informal fall about, crack up, be in stitches, be rolling in the aisles, laugh fit to bust

split the ticket (or one's vote)

US Vote for candidates of more than one party.
Example sentences
  • I will probably split my vote as I did last time by voting for a candidate chosen for personal qualities but voting for a different party.
  • He acknowledged that political parties did not encourage tactical voting in their campaign strategies, but sophisticated voters could split their vote.
  • So I voted a few times and split my vote between them.

split the vote

(Of a candidate or minority party) attract votes from another candidate or party with the result that both are defeated by a third.
Example sentences
  • Progressives across the country were presented with an old problem - vote for a less-than-perfect Democrat, or support a noble but doomed protest candidate and risk splitting the vote.
  • The major problem the Democrats had is that no less than three Democrats ran for the office, splitting the vote and media attention between them.
  • She stood as an Independent instead, splitting the vote.


Late 16th century (originally in the sense 'break up a ship', describing the force of a storm or rock): from Middle Dutch splitten, of unknown ultimate origin.

  • This was originally used in the sense ‘break up (a ship)’, describing the force of a storm or rock; it was borrowed from Middle Dutch splitten. The idiom split hairs dates from the late 17th century; split the difference arose in the early 18th century; split the atom is recorded from the early 20th century.

Words that rhyme with split

acquit, admit, backlit, bedsit, befit, bit, Brit, Britt, chit, commit, demit, dit, emit, fit, flit, frit, git, grit, hit, intermit, it, kit, knit, legit, lickety-split, lit, manumit, mishit, mitt, nit, omit, outsit, outwit, permit, pit, Pitt, pretermit, quit, remit, retrofit, sit, skit, slit, snit, spit, sprit, squit, submit, transmit, twit, whit, wit, writ, zit

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There are 2 main definitions of split in English:

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Split 2

Pronunciation: /splɪt/
A seaport on the coast of southern Croatia; population 177,500 (est. 2009). Founded as a Roman colony in 78 bc, it contains the ruins of the palace of the emperor Diocletian, built in about ad 300.

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