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

  • noun A separation or division into factions.
  • noun A formal breach of union within a religious body, especially a Christian church.
  • noun The offense of attempting to produce such a breach.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun The offense of seeking to produce a division in a church.
  • noun A schismatic body.

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

  • noun (Eccl.) Division or separation
  • noun (Eccl.) the separation of the Greek and Roman churches.
  • noun (Eccl.) a schism in the Roman church in the latter part of the 14th century, on account of rival claimants to the papal throne.
  • noun (Law) an act of the English Parliament requiring all teachers to conform to the Established Church, -- passed in 1714, repealed in 1719.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A split or separation within a group or organization, typically caused by discord.
  • noun religion A formal division or split within a religious body.
  • noun Catholicism 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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


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

[Middle English scisme, from Old French, from Latin schisma, schismat-, from Greek skhisma, from skhizein, to split; see skei- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French cisme or scisme, from Ancient Greek σχίσμα (skhisma, "division"), from σχίζω (skhizō, "I split").


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

    August 14, 2011

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

    February 3, 2013