Definition of divide in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪˈvʌɪd/


1Separate or be separated into parts: [with object]: consumer magazines can be divided into a number of categories [no object]: the cell clusters began to divide rapidly
More example sentences
  • This combination of factors yielded 216 trials, which were randomized and divided into two separate blocks.
  • However, they could not stay unified and have since divided into five separate church groups.
  • You will note from the information sheet that organisations will be divided into two clusters for the selection process.
split, cut up, cleave, carve up, slice up, chop up, split up;
dissect, bisect, halve, quarter
archaic sunder, rive
rare fractionate, disjoin
diverge, separate, part, branch, branch off, fork, split, split in two, go in different directions, go separate ways
technical divaricate, bifurcate, furcate, ramify
classify, sort, sort out, categorize, order, group, pigeonhole, grade, rank;
organize, arrange, dispose;
separate, segregate, partition
1.1 [with object] Separate (something) into portions and share out among a number of people: Jack divided up the rest of the cash profits from his single were divided between a number of charities
More example sentences
  • Missouri's 2 million or so households would get 22 acres apiece if all the land in the state were divided among them.
  • The family holdings were divided among six sons in the 1920s, with the largest tracts going to the sons of Richard Skinner and Chester Skinner.
  • Using Companies House and other data, and cross-checking with industry sources, we estimated how each firm's profits were divided among its partners.
share out, allocate, allot, apportion, portion out, ration out, measure out, mete out, parcel out, deal out, dole out, hand out, distribute, dispense;
split, carve up, slice up, break up
informal divvy up, dish out
rare admeasure
1.2 [with object] Allocate (different parts of one’s time or efforts) to different activities or places: the last years of her life were divided between Bermuda and Paris
More example sentences
  • His activity from 1612 to 1632 was divided between Toledo, Murcia, and Valencia.
  • Nowadays I divide my time between L.A. and Berlin, Germany.
  • I divide my time at Student Health between nursing and working as one of the Health Education Coordinators.
1.3 [with object] Form a boundary between (two people or things): glass panels divide the bar from the TV room
More example sentences
  • But they are a bit like those boundary streets which divide the ‘hot’ places to live from the not-so-hot.
  • A double door divides the living room and dining room.
  • To the left of the great gate a wall divides off a corner of the court.
separate, segregate, partition, detach, disconnect, screen off, section off, split off, demarcate, distinguish;
sever, rend
1.4(Of a legislative assembly) separate or be separated into two groups for voting: [no object]: the House divided: Ayes 287, Noes 196 [with object]: the Party decided to put down an amendment and thus divide the House
More example sentences
  • The house divided as follows: Ayes: 127 Noes: 107 Abstentions: 73.
  • When the House divided to vote on the motion only half the MPs were present and the Abolition Bill was defeated.
  • I appeal to the Labor Party even now not to divide the Assembly on this issue.
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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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.


1A difference or disagreement between two groups, typically producing tension: there was still a profound cultural divide between the parties
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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.

  • English adopted divide from Latin dividere ‘to force apart, remove’ in the Middle Ages. The maxim divide and rule, recommending that a ruler or government set factions against each other so that they will not unite against the powers that be, is also of Latin origin: divide et impera. People often attribute it to the Renaissance Italian statesman and political philosopher Machiavelli ( see Machiavellian), but in fact he denounced the principle. Dividend (Late Middle English) comes from the same Latin root, and originally meant ‘something to be divided’, while individual (Late Middle English) comes from the Latin for ‘not divisible’. See also widow

Words that rhyme with divide

abide, applied, aside, astride, backslide, beside, bestride, betide, bide, bride, chide, Clyde, cockeyed, coincide, collide, confide, cried, decide, dried, elide, five-a-side, glide, guide, hide, hollow-eyed, I'd, implied, lied, misguide, nationwide, nide, offside, onside, outride, outside, pan-fried, pied, pie-eyed, pitch-side, popeyed, pride, provide, ride, Said, shied, side, slide, sloe-eyed, snide, square-eyed, starry-eyed, statewide, Strathclyde, stride, subdivide, subside, tide, tried, undyed, wall-eyed, wide, worldwide

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: div¦ide

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