When you divide something, you separate it into different parts. A pizza maker may divide a ball of dough into two parts to make two pies, or you might even divide a stick of gum in half to share it with a friend.

The verb divide can refer to the splitting apart of anything, whether it’s pizza dough, gum, time, a country, or a political group. Math types probably already know that the word also can refer to a mathematical function involving figuring out how many times a certain number contains another number. As a noun, divide means a hostile split between two groups, such as a growing divide between conservative and liberal groups.

Definitions of divide
  1. noun
    a serious disagreement between two groups of people (typically producing tension or hostility)
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    type of:
    disagreement, dissension, dissonance, misunderstanding
    a conflict of people's opinions or actions or characters
  2. noun
    a ridge of land that separates two adjacent river systems
    synonyms: water parting, watershed
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    Great Divide
    that part of the continental divide formed by the Rocky Mountains in the United States
    continental divide
    the watershed of a continent (especially the watershed of North America formed by a series of mountain ridges extending from Alaska to Mexico)
    type of:
    a spatial location defined by a real or imaginary unidimensional extent
  3. verb
    make a division or separation
    synonyms: separate
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    partition, zone
    separate or apportion into sections
    destroy the integrity of; usually by force; cause to separate into pieces or fragments
    break up, dispel, disperse, dissipate, scatter
    to cause to separate and go in different directions
    rail, rail off
    separate with a railing
    separate (a small unit) from a larger, especially for a special assignment
    close off, shut off
    isolate or separate
    screen off, separate off
    partition by means of a divider, such as a screen
    cause to break into many pieces
    break into pieces
    break in
    break so as to fall inward
    dash, smash
    break into pieces, as by striking or knocking over
    cause to break up or cease to function
    curtain off
    separate by means of a curtain
  4. verb
    perform a division
    “Can you divide 49 by seven?”
    synonyms: fraction
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    combine by multiplication
    divide by two; divide into halves
    divide by four; divide into quarters
    type of:
    calculate, cipher, compute, cypher, figure, reckon, work out
    make a mathematical calculation or computation
  5. verb
    separate into parts or portions
    divide the cake into three equal parts”
    synonyms: carve up, dissever, divvy, separate, split, split up
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    unify, unite
    act in concert or unite in a common purpose or belief
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    divide into smaller and smaller pieces
    format, initialise, initialize
    divide (a disk) into marked sectors so that it may store data
    sectionalise, sectionalize
    divide into sections, especially into geographic sections
    divide into triangles or give a triangular form to
    unitise, unitize
    divide (bulk material) and process as units
    divide into lots, as of land, for example
    divide into parts
    sliver, splinter
    divide into slivers or splinters
    divide into paragraphs, as of text
    divide into cantons, of a country
    Balkanise, Balkanize
    divide a territory into small, hostile states
    type of:
    change integrity
    change in physical make-up
  6. verb
    force, take, or pull apart
    synonyms: disunite, part, separate
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    compartmentalise, compartmentalize, cut up
    separate into isolated compartments or categories
    polarise, polarize
    cause to concentrate about two conflicting or contrasting positions
    isolate, keep apart, sequester, sequestrate, set apart
    set apart from others
    disjoin, disjoint
    make disjoint, separated, or disconnected; undo the joining of
    disarticulate, disjoint
    separate at the joints
    make disconnected, disjoin or unfasten
    separate with or as if with an instrument
    separate or be separated by force
    separate (meat) at the joint
    separate the seeds from (cotton) with a cotton gin
    separate from a clinch, in boxing
    break up, sever
    set or keep apart
    bust, rupture, snap, tear
    separate or cause to separate abruptly
    trim carefully and neatly
    cut with or as if with scissors
    plane, shave
    cut or remove with or as if with a plane
    slice, slice up
    cut into slices
    cut in a zigzag pattern with pinking shears, in sewing
    cut teeth into; make a jagged cutting edge
    carve, cut up
    cut to pieces
    form by carving
    carve, chip at
    engrave or cut by chipping away at a surface
    cube, dice
    cut into cubes
    cut into long thin strips
    chop, hack
    cut with a hacking tool
    cut obliquely into (a tree) below the main cut and on the side toward which the tree will fall
    cut away
    chop, chop up
    cut into pieces
    cut down, drop, fell, strike down
    cause to fall by or as if by delivering a blow
    chip, nick
    cut a nick into
    nick, snick
    cut slightly, with a razor
    break off, chip, cut off, knap
    break a small piece off from
    pare, trim
    remove the edges from and cut down to the desired size
    cut the skin over the clitoris
    chamfer, chase, furrow
    cut a furrow into a columns
    cut or tear along an irregular line so that the parts can later be matched for authentication
    mortice, mortise
    cut a hole for a tenon in
    decouple, uncouple
    disconnect or separate
    cause to become detached or separated; take off
    cut down, mow
    cut with a blade or mower
    cut or cut through with shears
    gash, slash
    cut open
    cut down, slash
    cut with sweeping strokes; as with an ax or machete
    cut a female screw thread with a tap
    cut with a hob
    bore, drill
    make a hole, especially with a pointed power or hand tool
    clip, nip, nip off, snip, snip off
    sever or remove by pinching or snipping
    cut open or cut apart
    cut in half or cut in two
    cut across or divide transversely
    cut in three
    pare, whittle
    cut small bits or pare shavings from
    cut unevenly with a chattering tool
    cut away
    remove by cutting off or away
    cut with a tomahawk
    saber, sabre
    cut or injure with a saber
    cut a rebate in (timber or stone)
    cut grain with a cradle scythe
    make an incision into by carving or cutting
    cut or carve deeply into
    bob, dock, tail
    remove or shorten the tail of an animal
    cleave, rive, split
    separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
    slice, slit
    make a clean cut through
    cut or tear irregularly
    cut with a saw
    discerp, lop, sever
    cut off from a whole
    pull, rend, rent, rip, rive
    tear or be torn violently
    rip up, shred, tear up
    tear into shreds
    cut a groove into
    bevel, chamfer
    cut a bevel on; shape to a bevel
    crosscut, cut across
    cut using a diagonal line
    cut (wood) along the grain
    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  7. verb
    come apart
    synonyms: part, separate
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    form into subdivisions
    polarise, polarize
    become polarized in a conflict or contrasting situation
    break up, calve
    release ice
    break away, break off, chip, chip off, come off
    break off (a piece from a whole)
    disjoin, disjoint
    become separated, disconnected or disjoint
    come away, come off, detach
    come to be detached
    divide from the main body or mass and collect
    divide or split up
    undergo meiosis
    section, segment
    divide into segments
    partition, partition off
    divide into parts, pieces, or sections
    discerp, dismember, take apart
    divide into pieces
    divide unfairly and to one's advantage; of voting districts
    flake, flake off, peel, peel off
    come off in flakes or thin small pieces
    come off in a very thin piece
    blow off
    come off due to an explosion or other strong force
    chop off, cut off, lop off
    remove by or as if by cutting
    remove the soldering from
    fall off
    come off
    syllabicate, syllabify, syllabise, syllabize
    divide into syllables
    divide into quarters
    pound, pound off
    partition off into compartments
    type of:
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
  8. verb
    act as a barrier between; stand between
    “The mountain range divides the two countries”
    synonyms: separate
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