Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

divide - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb divide pronunciation in British English /dɪˈvaɪd/
Word Forms
present tense
present participledividing
past tensedivided
past participledivided
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1



    divide up

    [transitive] to separate people or things into smaller groups or parts

    Divide the pastry and roll out one part.

    divide something into pairs/groups/parts etc:

    Divide the class into three groups.

    1. a.
      [intransitive] to have separate parts, or to form into separate groups
      divide into:

      The film divides into two distinct halves.

    2. b.
      [transitive] to separate something into smaller parts and share the parts between people

      Work out how you would like to divide the money.

      divide something between/among someone:

      After his death his property was divided among his children.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to keep two or more areas or parts separate

    the wall that divides the playground and the sports field

    divide something from something:

    The railway divides their family’s land from the plains below.

  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] maths to do a mathematical calculation to find out how many times a number contains a smaller number. This is usually shown by the symbol ÷
    divide something by something:

    Divide 9 by 3.

    10 divided by 2 is 5.

    divide by:

    Add 50 to your original number, then divide by six.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to be the cause of disagreement between people, especially within a group
    1. a.
      [intransitive] to disagree and form smaller groups
      divide along party/religious/ethnic etc lines (=according to your political party, religion, race etc):

      MPs look certain to divide along party lines.

    See also divided
  5. 5
    [intransitive] if a road divides, it separates into two roads

    When the road divides, take the left-hand route.

  6. 6
    [intransitive] biology if a cell in a plant or animal divides, it separates into two cells so that a new cell is formed

sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


to teach someone

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play