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Line breaks: di|vorce
Pronunciation: /dɪˈvɔːs

Definition of divorce in English:


1The legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body: her divorce from her first husband [mass noun]: one in three marriages ends in divorce
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, judicial separation, separation, disunion, break-up, split, split-up, severance, rupture, breach, parting;
in Islamic lawkhula, talaq
1.1A legal decree dissolving a marriage: my divorce comes through in two weeks
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 which were or ought to be connected: a divorce between ownership and control in the typical large company
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): she divorced him in 1965 [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.
split up (with), end one's marriage (to), get a divorce (from), separate (from), part (from), split (from), break up (with), part company (with), dissolve one's marriage (to), annul one's marriage (to);
British informal bust up (with)
1.1Separate or dissociate (something) from something else, typically with an undesirable effect: religion cannot be divorced from morality
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.
1.2 (divorce oneself from) Dissociate oneself from (something): a desire to divorce myself from history
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.


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.



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.

Definition of divorce in:

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