Definitions

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

  • n. A separation or division into factions.
  • n. A formal breach of union within a Christian church.
  • n. The offense of attempting to produce such a breach.
  • n. Disunion; discord.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A split or separation within a group or organization, typically caused by discord.
  • n. A formal division or split within a religious body.
  • n. a split within Christianity whereby a group no longer recognizes the Bishop of Rome as the head of the Church, but shares essentially the same beliefs with the Church of Rome. In other words, a political split without the introduction of heresy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Division or separation

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Division or separation; specifically, in ecclesiastical usage, a formal separation within or from an existing church or religious body, on account of some difference of opinion with regard to matters of faith or discipline.
  • n. The offense of seeking to produce a division in a church.
  • n. A schismatic body.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the formal separation of a church into two churches or the withdrawal of one group over doctrinal differences
  • n. division of a group into opposing factions

Etymologies

Middle English scisme, from Old French, from Latin schisma, schismat-, from Greek skhisma, from skhizein, to split; see skei- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French cisme or scisme, from Ancient Greek σχίσμα (skhisma, "division"), from σχίζω (skhizō, "I split"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Sc-H-I-Sm (scandium, hydrogen, iodine, samarium).

    February 3, 2013

  • Schism is also a verb meaning to separate schismatically (Oxford English Dictionary).

    August 14, 2011