verb (used with object), split, split·ting.

  1. to divide or separate from end to end or into layers: to split a log in two.
  2. to separate by cutting, chopping, etc., usually lengthwise: to split a piece from a block.
  3. to tear or break apart; rend or burst: The wind split the sail.
  4. to divide into distinct parts or portions (often followed by up): We split up our rations.
  5. to separate (a part) by such division.
  6. to divide (persons) into different groups, factions, parties, etc., as by discord: to split a political party.
  7. to separate (a group, family, etc.) by such division.
  8. to cast (a ballot or vote) for candidates of more than one political party.
  9. to divide between two or more persons, groups, etc.; share: We split a bottle of wine.
  10. to separate into parts by interposing something: to split an infinitive.
  11. Physics, Chemistry. to divide (molecules or atoms) by cleavage into smaller parts.
  12. to issue additional shares of (stock) without charge to existing stockholders, thereby dividing their interest into a larger number of shares and reducing the price per share.
  13. Slang. leave; depart from: Let’s split this scene.

verb (used without object), split, split·ting.

  1. to divide, break, or part lengthwise: The board split in half.
  2. to part, divide, or separate in any way (often followed by up): The group of children split up into two teams. We’ll split up here and meet later.
  3. to break asunder, as a ship by striking on a rock.
  4. to become separated, as a piece or part from a whole.
  5. to part or separate, as through disagreement; sever relations: They split up after a year of marriage. He split with the company after a policy dispute.
  6. to divide or share something with another or others; apportion.
  7. Slang. to leave; depart.


  1. the act of splitting.
  2. a crack, tear, or fissure caused by splitting.
  3. a piece or part separated by or as by splitting.
  4. a breach or rupture, as between persons, in a party or organization, etc.
  5. a faction, party, etc., formed by a rupture or schism.
  6. an ice-cream dish made from sliced fruit, usually a banana, and ice cream, and covered with syrup and nuts.
  7. Also called, especially British, nip. a bottle for wine or, sometimes, another beverage, containing from 6 to 6½ ounces (170 to 184 grams).
  8. a bottle, as of soda, liquor, etc., which is half the usual size.
  9. a strip split from an osier, used in basketmaking.
  10. Masonry. a brick of normal length and breadth but of half normal thickness, used to give level support to a course of bricks laid over one not level.
  11. Often splits. the feat of separating the legs while sinking to the floor, until they extend at right angles to the body, as in stage performances or gymnastics.
  12. Bowling. an arrangement of the pins remaining after the first bowl in two separated groups, so that a spare is difficult.
  13. Philately. bisect(def 5).
  14. one of the layers of leather into which a skin is cut.
  15. the act of splitting a stock.


  1. that has undergone splitting; parted lengthwise; cleft.
  2. disunited; divided: a split opinion.
  3. (of a stock quotation) given in sixteenths instead of eighths of a point.
  4. (of a stock) having undergone a split.


  1. split hairs. hair(def 11).
  2. split the difference. difference(def 13).


  1. a port and resort in W Croatia on the Adriatic: remains of the palace of Diocletian (295–305). Pop: 188 000 (2005 est)Italian name: Spalato

verb splits, splitting or split

  1. to break or cause to break, esp forcibly, by cleaving into separate pieces, often into two roughly equal piecesto split a brick
  2. to separate or be separated from a wholehe split a piece of wood from the block
  3. to separate or be separated into factions, usually through discord
  4. (often foll by up) to separate or cause to separate through a disagreement
  5. (when tr, often foll by up) to divide or be divided among two or more personssplit up the pie among the three of us
  6. slang to depart; leavelet’s split; we split the scene
  7. (tr) to separate (something) into its components by interposing something elseto split a word with hyphens
  8. (intr usually foll by on) slang to betray the trust, plans, etc (of); informhe split on me to the cops
  9. (tr) US politics to mark (a ballot, etc) so as to vote for the candidates of more than one partyhe split the ticket
  10. (tr) to separate (an animal hide or skin) into layers
  11. split hairs to make a fine but needless distinction
  12. split one’s sides to laugh very heartily
  13. split the difference
    1. to settle a dispute by effecting a compromise in which both sides give way to the same extent
    2. to divide a remainder equally


  1. the act or process of splitting
  2. a gap or rift caused or a piece removed by the process of splitting
  3. a breach or schism in a group or the faction resulting from such a breach
  4. a dessert of sliced fruit and ice cream, covered with whipped cream, nuts, etcbanana split
  5. See Devonshire split
    1. a separated layer of an animal hide or skin other than the outer layer
    2. leather made from such a layer
  6. tenpin bowling a formation of the pins after the first bowl in which there is a large gap between two pins or groups of pins
  7. informal an arrangement or process of dividing up loot or money


  1. having been split; dividedsplit logs
  2. having a split or splitshair with split ends

v.1580s, from Middle Dutch splitten, from Proto-Germanic *spl(e)it- (cf. Danish and Frisian splitte, Old Frisian splita, German spleißen “to split”), from PIE *(s)plei- “to split, splice” (see flint). Meaning “leave, depart” first recorded 1954, U.S. slang. Of couples, “to separate, divorce” from 1942. To split the difference is from 1715; to split (one’s) ticket in the U.S. political sense is attested from 1842. Splitting image “exact likeness” is from 1880. Split screen is from 1953; split shift is from 1955; split personality first attested 1919. Split-level as a type of building plan is recorded from 1952. Split-second first attested 1884, in reference to a type of stopwatch with two second hands that could be stopped independently; adjectival meaning “occurring in a fraction of a second” is from 1946. n.1861 as the name of the acrobatic feat, from split (v.). Meaning “sweet dish of sliced fruit with ice cream” is attested from 1920, American English. v.

  1. To divide from end to end or along the grain by or as if by a sharp blow; tear.
  2. To break, burst, or rip apart with force; rend.
  3. To separate; disunite.
  4. To break apart or divide a chemical compound into simpler constituents.

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