schism

The sound of the word schism reminds some people of the sound of a piece of paper being torn in two; which makes sense –– when a group has a big fight and the group is torn in two, that's a schism.

Although the Spanish club could have a schism over taco night versus tamale fest, schism often refers to splits in the church. You might have heard of the Great Schism of 1074, when the eastern Christian church, headquartered in Byzantium (now Istanbul), broke away from the western one headquartered in Rome.

Definitions of schism
1

n division of a group into opposing factions

“another schism like that and they will wind up in bankruptcy”
Synonyms:
split
Type of:
division
the act or process of dividing

n the formal separation of a church into two churches or the withdrawal of one group over doctrinal differences

Examples:
Great Schism
the period from 1378 to 1417 during which there were two papacies in the Roman Catholic Church, one in Rome and one in Avignon
Type of:
breach, break, falling out, rift, rupture, severance
a personal or social separation (as between opposing factions)

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.