Definition of divorce in English:


Syllabification: di·vorce
Pronunciation: /diˈvôrs


  • 1The legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body: her divorce from her first husband one in three marriages ends in divorce [as modifier]: divorce proceedings
    More example sentences
    • In cases when officials ask for a divorce, will the supervisory departments ignore the Marriage Law and interfere?
    • When we deal with divorces, our closing advice is always: ‘In the future, if you remarry, you should continue a prenup.’
    • He has had two gossip-fest divorces and an awkward bankruptcy.
    dissolution, annulment, (official) separation
  • 1.1A legal decree dissolving a marriage.
    More example sentences
    • In 1992 she and Charles became formally separated and their divorce was decreed in 1996.
    • Unilateral divorce dissolves not only marriage but private life.
    • It was decreed that after her divorce Diana, too, was no longer HRH.
  • 1.2 [in singular] A separation between things that were or ought to be connected: the bitter divorce between the company and its largest shareholder
    More example sentences
    • Why can't there be a velvet divorce between the regions, a la Czechoslovakia?
    • It was the fateful divorce between the sacred and the secular.
    • This is because of the divorce between religion and spirituality.


[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Legally dissolve one’s marriage with (someone): he divorced his first wife after 10 months (as adjective divorced) a divorced couple [no object]: they divorced eight years later
    More example sentences
    • If a man repeats three times to his wife, ‘I divorce you,’ the couple is considered divorced.
    • He was also under personal pressure as his wife wanted to divorce him.
    • My wife is divorcing me, so that's February and March ruined.
    dissolve one's marriage, annul one's marriage, end one's marriage, get a divorce
  • 1.1Separate or dissociate (something) from something else: we knew how to divorce an issue from an individual
    More example sentences
    • But this increased security awareness is in large measure being divorced from politics.
    • It also defies belief that the Law proposes that rents are divorced from the ability to pay.
    • But the plot was largely divorced from character development or historical context.
    separate, disconnect, divide, dissociate, disassociate, detach, isolate, alienate, set apart, cut off
  • 1.2 (divorce oneself from) Distance or dissociate oneself from (something): he wanted to divorce himself from all contact with the syndicate
    More example sentences
    • That's something you have to divorce yourself from.
    • ‘The problem is if you divorce yourself from how much fun it is to read that comic, it isn't really a movie,’ he said.
    • I don't want to divorce myself from that but I was in Glasgow.



More example sentences
  • Once they have reached an agreement on rearing any children, property, debts and so on, they can get the bill of divorcement on the same day.
  • Your life is married to the political beyond the possibility of divorcement.
  • The campaigners sought the divorcement of studios from their theatre chains, and in 1948 their wish was granted.


late Middle English: the noun from Old French divorce, from Latin divortium, based on divertere (see divert); the verb from Old French divorcer, from late Latin divortiare, from divortium.

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