from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act or process of dividing.
  • noun The state of having been divided.
  • noun Mathematics The operation of determining how many times one quantity is contained in another; the inverse of multiplication.
  • noun The proportional distribution of a quantity or entity.
  • noun Something, such as a boundary or partition, that serves to divide or keep separate.
  • noun One of the parts, sections, or groups into which something is divided.
  • noun An area of government or corporate activity organized as an administrative or functional unit.
  • noun A territorial section marked off for political or governmental purposes.
  • noun An administrative and tactical military unit that is smaller than a corps but is self-contained and equipped for prolonged combat activity.
  • noun A group of several ships of similar type forming a tactical unit under a single command in the US Navy.
  • noun A former unit of the US Air Force that was larger than a wing and smaller than an air force.
  • noun Botany The taxonomic category ranking just below kingdom, consisting of one or more related classes, and corresponding approximately to a phylum in zoological classification.
  • noun A category created for purposes of competition, as in boxing.
  • noun Variance of opinion; disagreement.
  • noun A splitting into factions; disunion.
  • noun The physical separation and regrouping of members of a parliament according to their stand on an issue put to vote.
  • noun Biology Cell division.
  • noun A type of propagation characteristic of plants that spread by means of newly formed parts such as bulbs, suckers, or rhizomes.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In biology, the breaking up of an organism, either naturally or artificially, into two or more parts which restore what is lacking and become new organisms of the typical form, as contrasted with reproduction by buds, which begin as small parts of the parent organism and gradually increase in size until they attain the typical form.
  • noun The act of dividing or separating into parts, portions, or shares: as, the division of a word (as by means of a hyphen at the end of a line); the division of labor; the division of profits.
  • noun Specifically— [L. divisio(n-), tr. of Gr. διαίρεσις.] In logic, the enumeration and naming of the parts of a whole; especially, the enumeration of the species of a genus. The latter is also distinguished as logical division. Division is mainly distinguished from classification in that the latter is a modern word, and supposes minute observation of the facts, while the former, as an Aristotelian term, denotes a much ruder proceeding, based on ordinary knowledge, and undertaken at the outset of the study of the genus divided. One of the distinctive doctrines of the Ramist school of logicians was that all division should proceed by dichotomy.
  • noun In heraldry, the separating of the field by lines in the direction of the bend, the bar, etc. (called division bendwise, barwise, etc.), also for the purpose of impaling two shields together, or in quartering.
  • noun The separation of members in a legislative house in order to ascertain the vote. This is effected in the British House of Commons by the passing of the affirmative and negative sides into separate lobbies, to be counted by tellers; in American legislatures, by their rising alternately, or, as is frequently done in the House of Representatives, by passing between tellers standing in front of the Speaker's desk. In the British House of Commons the usual method of voting on any contested measure is by division; in the United States, by ayes and noes, or affirmative and negative answers on a call of the roll.
  • noun In mathematics: The operation inverse to multiplication; the finding of a quantity, the quotient, which, multiplied by a given quantity, the divisor, gives another given quantity, the dividend.
  • noun A rule or method for ascertaining the quotient of a divisor into a dividend: as, long division.
  • noun A section; the separation of a geometrical figure into two parts.
  • noun The state of being divided; separation of parts: as, an army weakened by division; divisions among Christians.
  • noun That which divides or separates; a dividing line, partition, or mark of separation; any sign or cause of separation or distinction.
  • noun A part separated or distinguished in any way from the rest; a minor part or aggregate; a distinct portion: as, the divisions of an orange; a division of mankind or of a country; the divisions of a book or of a discourse.
  • noun Specifically— A definite part of an army or of a fleet, consisting of a certain number of brigades or of vessels under a single commander.
  • noun A part of a ship's company set apart for a certain service in action. Those who serve at the guns are classed as the first, second, third, and fourth divisions; the powder division provide the guns with ammunition; the master's division steer the ship and work the sails; and the engineer's division manage the engines and the boilers.
  • noun A geographical military command, consisting of two or more departments. Thus, the Military Division of the Missouri consists of the department of Dakota, the department of the Platte, the department of the Missouri, and the department of Texas. The United States is divided for military purposes at the present time (1889) into three divisions—the divisions of the Atlantic, the Missouri, and the Pacific.
  • noun In natural history: In zoölogical classification, any group of species forming a part of a larger group: in entomology, sometimes specifically applied to a group smaller than a suborder and larger than a family, as the division Gymnocerata of the Heteroptera. A section may be equivalent in value to a division, or a group subordinate to it; a series is a division in which the minor groups show a regular gradation in structure. In botanical classification, one of the higher grades in the sequence of groups, equivalent to subkingdom or series, as the phænogamous and cryptogamous divisions of plants. It is also often used as subordinate to class, as the polypetalous, apetalous, etc., divisions of dicotyledonous plants. By some authors it has been used to designate a grade between tribe and order.
  • noun The state of being divided in sentiment or interest; disunion; discord; variance; difference.
  • noun In music, a rapid and florid melodic passage or phrase, usually intended to be sung at one breath to a single syllable: so called because originally conceived as the elaboration of a phrase of long tones by the division of each into several short ones. It was common in the music of the eighteenth century.
  • noun The precise statement of the points at issue in any dispute.
  • noun See the extracts.
  • noun A rule for dividing one number by another, so as to obtain the entire period of the circulating decimal of the quotient. Both dividend and divisor are multiplied by the same number so as to make the last significant figure of the divisor 9. By striking off from the divisor so multiplied the 9, together with any ciphers which may follow it, and increasing the truncated remnant by 1, a number is obtained called the current multiplier. The last figure of the multiplied dividend is now struck off, multiplied by the current multiplier, and the product added to the truncated dividend. The sum is treated as a new dividend; and this process is continued until the dividends begin to repeat themselves. The successive figures struck off from the dividend from last to first are now written down from left to right as a whole number, and subtracted from the circulating part of the same figures repeated indefinitely into the decimal places. The remainder, after shifting the decimal point as many places to the left as there were zeros struck off from the divisor along with the 9, is the quotient sought.
  • noun The rule was derived from Arabian writers.
  • noun Synonyms Demarcation, apportionment, allotment, distribution.
  • noun Section, Portion, etc. (see part, n.), compartment, class, head, category, detachment.
  • noun Disagreement, breach, rupture, alienation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act or process of diving anything into parts, or the state of being so divided; separation.
  • noun That which divides or keeps apart; a partition.
  • noun The portion separated by the divining of a mass or body; a distinct segment or section.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English divisioun, from Old French division, from Latin dīvīsiō, dīvīsiōn-, from dīvīsus, past participle of dīvidere, to divide; see divide.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin divisio, noun of process form from perfect passive participle divisus ("divided"), from dīvidō ("divide")


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  • "It has been said that the true division of England is east-west rather than north-south: the east flat, arable, dry, Saxon, and (I would add) silent; the west hilly, pastoral, wet, Celtic -- communicative. Nowhere are these distinctions more apparent than in the course of a ride on one of the smaller country buses."

    Margaret E. Lowe, "The Baaz. The Countryman, Autumn, 1957, p.428.

    October 2, 2009

  • Is Madge calling Wales 'West England'? The cheek.

    October 2, 2009