Definition of division in English:



mass noun
  • 1The action of separating something into parts or the process of being separated.

    ‘the division of the land into small fields’
    ‘a gene that helps regulate cell division’
    • ‘Every second millions of cells divide in our body and the process of division is called the cell cycle.’
    • ‘If you look at how those drugs work, they all target processes that are involved in active cell growth and division.’
    • ‘Cell division and cell expansion are fundamental processes for growth and development of plant organs.’
    • ‘Bridgemary community school in Gosport, Hampshire, is conducting a bold educational experiment by dismantling the traditional division of classes by age.’
    • ‘At that point, the cells cease division but continue to grow.’
    • ‘The division of a cell into a pair of genetically identical daughters depends on accurate chromosome duplication and segregation.’
    • ‘This affects the growth, reproduction and division of cells and the communication of signals between the outside of the cell and the nucleus inside the cell.’
    • ‘IT does not need elaborating that the emergence of the subcontinent from colonial rule and subsequent division into two entities were at a great human cost.’
    • ‘In some cases this involves displacing chemically related metal ions that are required for important biological functions such as cell growth, division and repair.’
    • ‘These cells replicate by division, do they not?’
    • ‘His research focuses on the mechanisms of cell movement and division.’
    • ‘To ask these questions is to begin to question how the whole of society operates and how its division into classes narrows and stultifies the lives of nearly everyone, both men and women.’
    • ‘These cells then undergo further division to become stem cells.’
    • ‘Cancer is essentially the uncontrolled division of cells, and its development typically requires the presence of multiple mutations.’
    • ‘It was at last recognized that all living organisms consist of cells, which are the basic units of life, and which arise only by division from other cells.’
    • ‘Every type started its development with an epidermal cell, which first underwent a periclinal cell division.’
    • ‘The division into sections encourages a leisurely upward progress, animated by changing views of the Tagus plain stretched out below.’
    • ‘Cell division ceases with birth, and all development thereafter occurs by growth of individual cells.’
    • ‘The remarkable division of India (splitting the country into two disparate halves) is particularly puzzling.’
    • ‘That way, each of the two cells resulting from division has one complete set of genes.’
    dividing, dividing up, breaking up, break-up, cutting up, carving up, severance, splitting, dissection, bisection, cleaving
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    1. 1.1 The distribution of something separated into parts.
      ‘the division of his estates between the two branches of his family’
      • ‘Suppose A can propose any division of $10 between A and B. B can accept or reject A's proposal.’
      • ‘These differing approaches reinforce the unequal sexual division of labor in the household.’
      • ‘I left the organization and division of responsibilities to the discretion of the students.’
      • ‘In the case of land, wealth and sovereignty, sharing can be understood best as sharing by division which involves the apportionment of goods between individuals.’
      • ‘It was complicated and did not reflect the division of responsibilities between schools and LEAs.’
      • ‘There was a great division of the spoils amongst the clubs.’
      • ‘This set me thinking about the perennial problem of equitable division of household labour.’
      • ‘Even those who remain sceptical of devolution must grant that, now the thing is established, the division of responsibilities makes sense, at least in some areas.’
      • ‘The division of health-care funding responsibilities between the federal, state and territory governments is unhealthy.’
      • ‘The ongoing dispute between Henry and the French nobles had begun in 1087, following the untimely death of William I and the division of his kingdom between his two sons.’
      • ‘I interpret the distribution as a mutually agreeable division of the chattels in question.’
      • ‘They then went to live on a farm owned by their father, and returned to Osnabruck on November 1st, 1945, when their family faced division between different homes.’
      sharing out, dividing up, parcelling out, allocation, allotment, apportionment, distribution, dispensation, disbursement
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    2. 1.2count noun An instance of members of a legislative body separating into two groups to vote.
      ‘the new clause was agreed without a division’
      • ‘If the Hunting Bill was so important, why did neither the Prime Minister nor the Chancellor bother to vote in most divisions?’
      • ‘Eventually, when we got to the final vote on the third reading a division was not even called, so I did not even have to have the necessary vote.’
      • ‘Figures compiled from the official parliamentary magazine Hansard put Mrs Smith among the bottom 20 MPs in terms of the numbers of divisions or votes attended during 2003.’
      • ‘The Bolton West MP took part in just 29.2 per cent of divisions or votes in the last parliamentary session - placing her 13 th from bottom.’
      • ‘Ministers must be persuaded to take part in debates and divisions and use the chamber as the central focus of national politics.’
    3. 1.3 The action of splitting the roots of a perennial plant into parts to be replanted separately, as a means of propagation.
      ‘the plant can also be easily increased by division in autumn’
      • ‘Reinvigorated by division, established perennials typically produce more and larger flowers.’
      • ‘If you want to share or increase a special plant, division is the best way to do it.’
      • ‘Except for very young plants, division is my least-preferred method of propagation.’
      • ‘These bulbs don't like frequent replantings and can take their time flowering after division.’
      • ‘Pot-bound grasses require frequent watering, as well as annual division and repotting.’
    4. 1.4Logic The action of dividing a wider class into two or more subclasses.
      • ‘I have already drawn attention to Kant's important threefold division of the subject matter of speculative metaphysics.’
      • ‘A truly main class (e.g., the natural sciences) is usually susceptible to logical division into subclasses that are themselves known as disciplines.’
      • ‘By supposing that the atoms form the lowest limit to division, the atomists escape from this dilemma: a total space traversed has only a finite number of parts.’
      • ‘Aristotle proposes a solution that applies to definitions reached by the ‘method of division.’’
      • ‘Ideal division ‘progresses to infinity’; actual division terminates in atoms after finitely many steps.’
  • 2Difference or disagreement between two or more groups, typically producing tension.

    ‘a growing sense of division between north and south’
    count noun ‘deep cultural divisions’
    • ‘In an internal Labour group document leaked to the Evening Press last year, it was claimed the Government-imposed shake-up of the council had caused divisions among party members.’
    • ‘I think that reminded us all that there is a sharp division of members' views on the bill we are discussing, with people taking very different attitudes and approaches to it.’
    • ‘It's a message that's taking hold in Europe, causing more division between the EU and the US.’
    • ‘There was a real and deeply worrying possibility that it would reopen the Cold War division between East and West.’
    • ‘I fear that because of the stance of these leaders, there could be a fall out leading to even more division between those congregations and others that don't agree with them on everything.’
    • ‘The division between the pro- and anti-Europeans is, in the real world, about nothing more or less than the European Union.’
    • ‘The flashpoints of division between Europe and America reflect this underlying conflict.’
    • ‘Like many other countries, including Britain, America has endured its share of racial division, particularly over the past few decades.’
    • ‘This election has uncovered a vast cultural division between Americans, but what is the cause?’
    • ‘And people are left to believe that division and conflict and tension are the only sources that we can look for in the future.’
    • ‘Socialism depends on workers overcoming the divisions within their own ranks.’
    • ‘Despite the unanimous vote, divisions began to surface after the meeting.’
    • ‘The government is trying to reinforce the old class divisions in society.’
    • ‘It has created disunity and division between people.’
    • ‘That's a remarkable achievement given the bitter division between those two parties.’
    • ‘A series of disruptive wildcat strikes created deep divisions between different groups of workers in the company.’
    • ‘The vote reflects the social divisions in French society.’
    • ‘While this was heralded as demonstrating the new unity of the party, the first round vote had indicated significant divisions.’
    • ‘In such ways are the seeds of social division and sectarianism planted in young children and there's no reason to think it's much different now.’
    • ‘All the while he has hoped that division between countries and uncertain public opinion in the democracies would weaken our resolve and allow him to carry on in power unchecked.’
    disunity, disunion, conflict, discord, disagreement, dissension, disaffection, estrangement, alienation, isolation, detachment
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  • 3The process of dividing one number by another.

    ‘no multiplication or division is necessary’
    • ‘And - this is the part that really bugs me - I can add and multiply, but am really bad at subtraction and division.’
    • ‘However, some multiplication and most division problems are still very complicated.’
    • ‘The book contains addition, subtraction, multiplication and, very surprisingly for that period, also division.’
    • ‘He did his work at home: spelling lists, book reports, the math book full of multiplication and division problems.’
    • ‘This is a math training program that helps teach addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.’
    • ‘Basically they had to devise methods of multiplication and division which only involved addition.’
    • ‘However, multiplication is typically learned first and most individuals are more practiced on multiplication then division.’
    • ‘We learn how the dynamics of addition and subtraction are linked to multiplication and division, and eventually to theorems of algebra.’
    • ‘But multiplication and division are not at all easy, and there is no way the Roman system could form the basis for any scientific or technical work.’
    • ‘There I learned addition, multiplication, division and subtraction, mostly from several private tutors.’
    • ‘Other chapters explore subtraction, multiplication, division, and other related topics.’
    • ‘Topics considered include addition and subtraction of decimal numbers followed by multiplication and division of decimal numbers.’
    • ‘While some problems needed only division or multiplication to solve, others used fractions or multiple steps.’
    • ‘Anyone who studies mathematics should not be afraid of the difficulty of multiplication and division, but should be afraid of the mysteries of manipulating fractions.’
    • ‘Yet the Mayan number system is certainly capable of being used for the operations of multiplication and division as the authors of demonstrate.’
    • ‘Can you explain binary addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in a non-complex manner?’
    • ‘A further difficulty with explaining subtraction and division to children is that they are not always possible.’
    • ‘I fully see the point of mastering addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, but after that - what's the point?’
    • ‘Hermann's contributions to mathematics include a treatise dealing with multiplication and division, although this book is written entirely with Roman numerals.’
    • ‘The work contains 11 chapters, one each on topics such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square roots and cube roots.’
    1. 3.1Mathematics The process of dividing a matrix, vector, or other quantity by another under specific rules to obtain a quotient.
      • ‘The rules for multiplication and division of a matrix by a scalar (a real number) are simpler.’
      • ‘I found it perfectly reasonable that division by a fraction should equal multiplication by its reciprocal.’
      • ‘The former is better for addition and subtraction of vectors, but can be used for multiplication and division of vectors as well.’
  • 4count noun Each of the parts into which something is divided.

    ‘the main divisions of the book’
    • ‘The water flow pathway from the roots to the leaves of most plants passes through a number of structural divisions or branch junctions, particularly in the case of large woody plants.’
    • ‘This attractive roadside holding, of 11 elevated acres, is situated two miles from Kilmallock, is divided into three main divisions and has mains water supply.’
    • ‘Each division should have its own roots and stems.’
    • ‘According to the Table of Contents, the book is divided into five named sections, of several chapters each, but there is no sign of these section divisions in the text itself.’
    • ‘When separated from the original iris clump, each division is ready to plant.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, there are few quantitative data on the relative sizes of major brain divisions in most craniates.’
    • ‘The distance between these points is then divided into 100 divisions or degrees.’
    • ‘This anthology is organized around the major canonical divisions of the English Bible.’
    • ‘The three main divisions or grades of cabinets are stock, semi-custom, and custom.’
    • ‘This text is divided into seven divisions allowing the systematic presentation of dosage forms according to their physical form and characteristics.’
    • ‘Waring also wrote on algebraic curves, classifying quartic curves into 12 main divisions with 84551 subdivisions.’
    • ‘Set each plant in a shallow hole large enough to accommodate the division and the attached fibrous roots.’
    • ‘In each school, the children will be divided into four divisions in conformity with their age groups.’
    • ‘There were 87 divisions, each divided into blocks, ranging from 26 to 157 blocks.’
    • ‘The events at the festival have been categorized in four major divisions: Music, Dance, Opera & Drama, and Art.’
    • ‘During the 1940s, the medical parties were divided into three divisions.’
    • ‘The tendon of insertion divides into two divisions, deep and superficial.’
    • ‘As mentioned above, the divisions of the catalog do not correspond to the placement of objects in the exhibition, and some catalog entries differ with the museum's labels.’
    • ‘Most divided at the point where the leaf blade joins the stem and, in most, the divisions are divided again.’
    section, subsection, subdivision, part, portion, piece, bit, segment, slice, fragment, chunk, component, share
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    1. 4.1 A major section of an organization, with responsibility for a particular area of activity.
      ‘a retail division’
      • ‘Web operations were separated into stand-alone divisions, lest they be dragged down by their association with old ink-on-paper companies.’
      • ‘We have started 2005 with a simpler business focused on our core lending and retail divisions.’
      • ‘Moreover, although work groups socialized after hours, they did so only within the confines of their separate divisions.’
      • ‘They suspect private companies will purchase the separate divisions at bargain basement prices and implement sweeping restructuring and job cuts.’
      • ‘One division within a company may have authorized access to information for the performance of a specific contract that another division of the same company does not.’
      • ‘The hope is that Jaguar, and also the separate Cosworth division, can be sold as going concerns.’
      • ‘The finance division can now obtain more accurate and frequent statistics, the company said.’
      • ‘The Hydraulics division imports and distributes hydraulic equipment to the domestic market.’
      • ‘Since the reports had only gone to the president, the financial division never allocated him any funds beyond his own salary.’
      • ‘The plant hire division in Britain delivered operating profits of €1.9 million.’
      • ‘The software is designed for companies who have a requirement for controlling separate divisions such as contracting, service and maintenance and plant control.’
      • ‘Back then the Newspaper Division was the largest of about a dozen divisions with nearly 400 members.’
      • ‘City Power has also established a division of 100 staff members dedicated to public lighting.’
      • ‘Revenue in its services division grew 42 per cent to $19 million.’
      • ‘Many large firms organized research divisions and departments that institutionalized technological change.’
      • ‘Landis is by any standards a big business - the distribution division turns over €450m a year.’
      • ‘Over the past year the company has launched the distribution division and fine-tuned its franchising package.’
      • ‘Beacon, Best Western's separate purchasing division, also operates out of the Clifton Moor headquarters.’
      • ‘Furthermore, the company also informed of profits at the hotel division increasing 48%.’
      • ‘The company is in the process of splitting off these more profitable operations, which include the Internet data services, into separate divisions or companies.’
      department, branch, arm, wing, sector, section, subsection, subdivision, subsidiary, detachment, office, bureau, offshoot, satellite, extension
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    2. 4.2 A group of army brigades or regiments.
      ‘an infantry division’
      • ‘For example, the reorganization of army divisions into brigades capable of autonomous response would increase the flexibility of these units.’
      • ‘As such, unit selection is very important when taking out a specific enemy unit or division, as I would assume it is in real tactical combat.’
      • ‘Armored divisions have more tanks than mechanized infantry divisions.’
      • ‘Since the 1930s, this army had developed a sound doctrine of warfare, and created powerful Panzer divisions of tanks, infantry and artillery.’
      • ‘In 1899 Buller asked for him to command the cavalry division in South Africa.’
      • ‘Not long afterwards he ordered one of the divisions encircling the base to withdraw.’
      • ‘All 10 of our major combat divisions are ahead of expectations for retention of soldiers.’
      • ‘However, brigades, divisions, corps, and armies formed only as needed in wartime and were promptly disbanded during peacetime.’
      • ‘Today's Army divisions are composed of brigades, not regiments.’
      • ‘In real terms, the commanders of armies and divisions had one day or two days for decision-making and planning.’
      • ‘The first panzer division was improvised in the summer of 1935.’
      • ‘After the war he served as staff commander of an infantry regiment and division and commanded a combined unit.’
      • ‘One report said they were separated from their division and later wanted to return to Japan but feared they would face a court-martial.’
      • ‘In total, 2 tank brigades and an infantry division were destroyed by the attack planes.’
      • ‘Tank units and subunits attached to rifle divisions and regiments were used for direct support of infantry.’
      • ‘By 1916, there was a standardization of support elements in each infantry division.’
      • ‘Each division is broken into several brigades.’
      • ‘It contained eight infantry divisions, one cavalry brigade, and a tank brigade.’
      • ‘After recovering from a wound suffered in September 1864, Upton actively led a cavalry division at war's end.’
      • ‘Tank battalions, which supported infantry divisions, were at times broken up and spread over a whole division.’
    3. 4.3 A number of teams or competitors grouped together in a sport for competitive purposes according to such characteristics as ability or weight.
      ‘the club will finish second in Division One’
      • ‘By the end of the decade the league had eight teams in two divisions and all teams played a 72-game schedule.’
      • ‘Each weight class and each division was fiercely contested.’
      • ‘Resounding wins for the top clubs in all divisions helped the teams secure the places.’
      • ‘Sixteen years ago there were two national league divisions with 10 teams competing in each.’
      • ‘A total of 83 teams competed in ten divisions this year, making it the biggest league of its type in Great Britain.’
      • ‘There has been a change to the league structure this year with division 1 and division 2 being broken up into three groups of eight.’
      • ‘Andy Kay steered the second eleven to promotion to the premier division of the York and District Senior League.’
      • ‘They will each play eight more teams before Christmas, when the competition will be divided into two divisions.’
      • ‘They're a dangerous team in a division that looks eminently winnable.’
      • ‘Ray won the second division with 40 points.’
      • ‘Things will even out now that teams are playing more teams outside of their divisions, and the preseason expectations will look more viable.’
      • ‘Today the league has 25 teams competing in three divisions.’
      • ‘They are being separated into divisions first before the serious competition gets underway.’
      • ‘Most of the clubs teams finished in the top half of their divisions with none relegated.’
      • ‘After initial heats, teams were divided into divisions based on time.’
      • ‘Within each weight division each competitor is placed in a pool that determines who they fight first.’
      • ‘There's still a long way to go and in this league, unlike some of the other divisions, the top teams are capable of losing to the bottom sides and vice verse.’
      • ‘In my time, the nearest we got to a trophy was winning the old second division.’
      • ‘Jefferson, 27, currently ranks second in the U.S. at 73 kg, one of the most competitive weight divisions in judo.’
      • ‘If enough teams apply, the second division will be split into a Conference North and South.’
    4. 4.4 A part of a county, country, or city defined for administrative or political purposes.
      ‘a licensing division of a district’
      • ‘Car thefts dropped by eight per cent in the eastern division and rose by eight per cent in the central division.’
      • ‘The advice has been dished out by Northern division's road policing unit after a number of complaints to police from motorists about cycle users not using lights and an increase in accidents.’
      • ‘The volume concludes with five state maps showing county divisions between 1820 and 1870 and an index.’
      • ‘From April 2003 to April this year there were 2,200 burglaries in the Bradford North division, a 38 per cent reduction on the previous year.’
      • ‘Colchester police, alongside other divisions in the county, is reviewing the way it deals with calls.’
      • ‘The country is divided into four divisions, twenty districts, subdistricts, union parishads, and villages.’
      • ‘Sources say that in city divisions such as Howdenhall, which covers a large part of south Edinburgh, there can be as few as four beat officers available on day and night shifts.’
      • ‘It involved replacing three administrative divisions with one ‘super division’.’
      • ‘The city's six police divisions will be merged into four in a move that will see management and administration cuts while support staff will help police officers with paperwork, giving them more time on the beat.’
      • ‘Of those, 33 were in the Eastern Division, covering Blackburn, Darwen, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, the highest total in the county's six divisions.’
      • ‘Does anyone out there think the North Unit has that much less drug activity than the other divisions?’
      • ‘A survey for detailed info on child labourers is progressing in eight divisions of the old city.’
      • ‘The proposed extension would be until 10.30 pm on weekdays from June 1 to September 30, being similar to those allowed in neighbouring divisions.’
      • ‘During the campaign raids were carried out in six of the county's nine divisions.’
      • ‘Today, it emerged that the burglary rate in the South Trafford police division dropped 59 per cent.’
      • ‘Act IV of 1919 divided the City into 30 divisions, raised the number of Commissioners and re-designated them as councillors.’
      • ‘Currently 12 of the 16 police divisions in the city offer programs similar to Community Alert and Auto-dialler.’
      • ‘This is not an easy task, especially in areas such as northern Virginia where school divisions are experiencing major demographic changes.’
      • ‘The division stretches from the city centre and Openshaw in the south to Blackley in the north.’
    5. 4.5British A part of a county or borough forming a parliamentary constituency.
      ‘he was MP for the Lancaster division of North Lancashire’
      • ‘A total of 229 hopefuls have put their names forward as candidates for each of the county's divisions for the election on May 5.’
      • ‘The following Derbyshire divisions, all controlled by Labour, are in the Yorkshire Post area - the relevant divisions are shown in brackets.’
      • ‘The county's electoral divisions will change next year and South Woodham looks set to be freed from the nearby villages it is tied to, making it a stand-alone division’
      • ‘Winston Jones, making his first appearance in South Bradford as prospective parliamentary candidate for the division, was introduced to the new branch.’
      • ‘Cllr Jones is the current county councillor for the division.’
    6. 4.6Botany A principal taxonomic category that ranks above class and below kingdom, equivalent to the phylum in zoology.
      • ‘It does not correspond to divisions between the four principal botanical species of squash.’
      • ‘Families, genera, and species are arranged alphabetically within major taxonomic divisions.’
      • ‘The species are separated into the divisions Pteridophyta, Coniferophyta, and Magnoliophyta.’
    7. 4.7Zoology Any subsidiary category between major levels of classification.
      • ‘These divisions reflect major changes in the composition of ancient faunas, each era being recognized by its domination by a particular group of animals.’
      • ‘This finding is in accord with the observation that examples of ‘concrescence’ do not cross the primary dental divisions in mammals.’
      • ‘Thus, at the present time the taxonomic divisions at the familial level in the Orthocerida are not clear and a meaningful classification is not possible.’
      • ‘Gregory suggested a relationship to lagomorphs, and Simpson united the two into a major division of Eutheria, the Glires.’
      • ‘The division Teleostei within the Osteichthyes (bony fish) is made up of 38 orders.’
  • 5count noun A partition.

    ‘the villagers lived in a communal building and there were no solid divisions between neighbours’
    • ‘There is no proper division between the road and the bus stop.’
    • ‘In just four minutes the boom, like a wall, can be raised up from a 1.8 metre deep slot at the bed of the pool, creating a solid division.’
    • ‘At the Tate Modern there is no division between a fancy restaurant for certain visitors and the cheap self-service one for everyone else.’
    • ‘Not only was it virtually naked, stripped of all lights, signs and road markings, but there was no division between road and sidewalk.’
    • ‘The only division between her classroom and his is a wooden partition erected in 1930.’
    • ‘Organising an open plan area without physical divisions can be deceptively complicated.’
    dividing line, divide, boundary, boundary line, borderline, border, partition, margin, demarcation line, line of demarcation, cut-off point
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  • division of labour

    • The assignment of different parts of a manufacturing process or task to different people in order to improve efficiency.

      • ‘The scope for the division of labour and mutually profitable exchange steadily widened.’
      • ‘People are appointed to different jobs within a division of labour.’
      • ‘Smith famously used a pin factory to explain how specialised tasks under a division of labour massively increase productivity.’
      • ‘No one is forced to join the specialized division of labor.’
      • ‘He applies his theory to real questions of property, law, organization and the division of labor.’
      • ‘But in doing so they cut themselves off from the efficiencies created by the division of labour.’
      • ‘Modern society, based as it is on the division of labor, can be preserved only under conditions of lasting peace.’
      • ‘He defended free trade as necessary to the division of labor.’
      • ‘The division of labor will allow for efficient innovation of new products once the basic needs of the local economy are met.’
      • ‘This is, in fact, a manifestation of the gains of trade and division of labor, and the growth of the market, and not vice versa.’


Late Middle English: from Old French devisiun, from Latin divisio(n-), from the verb dividere (see divide).