1. the act or process of dividing; state of being divided.
  2. Arithmetic. the operation inverse to multiplication; the finding of a quantity, the quotient, that when multiplied by a given quantity, the divisor, gives another given quantity, the dividend; the process of ascertaining how many times one number or quantity is contained in another.
  3. something that divides or separates; partition.
  4. something that marks a division; dividing line or mark.
  5. one of the parts into which a thing is divided; section.
  6. separation by difference of opinion or feeling; disagreement; dissension.
  7. Government. the separation of a legislature, or the like, into two groups, in taking a vote.
  8. one of the parts into which a country or an organization is divided for political, judicial, military, or other purposes.
  9. Military.
    1. (in the army) a major administrative and tactical unit, larger than a regiment or brigade and smaller than a corps: it is usually commanded by a major general.
    2. (in the navy) a number of ships, usually four, forming a tactical group that is part of a fleet or squadron.
  10. a major autonomous or semi-independent but subordinate administrative unit of an industrial enterprise, government bureau, transportation system, or university: the sales division of our company; the Division of Humanities.
  11. (in sports) a category or class containing all the teams or competitors grouped together according to standing, skill, weight, age, or the like: a team in the first division; the heavyweight division in boxing.
  12. Botany. a major primary subdivision of the plant kingdom, consisting of one or more classes; plant phylum.
  13. Zoology. any subdivision of a classificatory group or category.
  14. Horticulture. a type of propagation in which new plants are grown from segments separated from the parent plant.
  15. the ornamentation of a melodic line in 17th- and 18th-century music.


  1. the act of dividing or state of being divided
  2. the act of sharing out; distribution
  3. something that divides or keeps apart, such as a boundary
  4. one of the parts, groups, etc, into which something is divided
  5. a part of a government, business, country, etc, that has been made into a unit for administrative, political, or other reasons
  6. a formal vote in Parliament or a similar legislative body
  7. a difference of opinion, esp one that causes separation
  8. (in sports) a section, category, or class organized according to age, weight, skill, etc
  9. a mathematical operation, the inverse of multiplication, in which the quotient of two numbers or quantities is calculated. Usually written: a ÷ b, a b, a / b
    1. armya major formation, larger than a regiment or brigade but smaller than a corps, containing the necessary arms to sustain independent combat
    2. navya group of ships of similar type or a tactical unit of naval aircraft
    3. air forcean organization normally comprising two or more wings with required support units
  10. (plural) navy the assembly of all crew members for the captain’s inspection
  11. biology (in traditional classification systems) a major category of the plant kingdom that contains one or more related classesCompare phylum (def. 1)
  12. horticulture any type of propagation in plants in which a new plant grows from a separated part of the original
  13. logic the fallacy of inferring that the properties of the whole are also true of the parts, as Britain is in debt, so John Smith is in debt
  14. (esp in 17th-century English music) the art of breaking up a melody into quick phrases, esp over a ground bass

late 14c., from Old French division, from Latin divisionem (nominative divisio), from divid-, stem of dividere (see divide). Military sense is first recorded 1590s. Mathematical sense is from early 15c. The mathematical division sign supposedly was invented by British mathematician John Pell (1611-1685) who taught at Cambridge and Amsterdam.


  1. The act or process of dividing.
  2. Cell division.
  3. The operation of determining how many times one quantity is contained in another; the inverse of multiplication.

  1. The act, process, or operation of finding out how many times one number or quantity is contained in another.
  2. A taxonomic classification within the plant kingdom that ranks immediately above a class and corresponds to a phylum in other kingdoms. See Table at taxonomy.

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