Main definitions of split in US English:

: split1Split2


verbsplitting, splits

  • 1Break or cause to break forcibly into parts, especially into halves or along the grain.

    no object ‘the ice cracked and heaved and split’
    with object ‘split and toast the muffins’
    • ‘Then, when the sun goes down, the outer bark may freeze too quickly and split on the side last facing the sun.’
    • ‘The statue began to split apart down the middle.’
    • ‘One tossed the stuff I'd just split on the woodpile while the other set another piece up on the block.’
    • ‘This really made me laugh reading this, and now my cold sore's split on my lip and it's bleeding again.’
    • ‘I opened up my packet of cookies and split one in half.’
    • ‘The greatest danger is death from a sudden split in the aorta.’
    • ‘The wooden barrel guard was split along half its length and the barrel itself was badly corroded.’
    • ‘The berries then swell suddenly and often split, resulting in fungal and bacterial infection of the bunches.’
    • ‘Warping, splitting along the grain, the breaking apart of joins, the flaking of paint and ground from the wooden substrate, and insect damage are all commonly encountered.’
    • ‘The intensity caused him to rip at the fabric which tore, splitting at the seam.’
    • ‘Some barley heads have split already, the beaded kernels fallen at the urging of the sun's heat.’
    • ‘Alternatively, if you are cooking for two it is simply split in half.’
    • ‘The kernels split lengthwise so the white inside of the kernel is visible.’
    • ‘First, be sure that the plant will respond to being split; not everything does, herbaceous peonies being a prime example.’
    • ‘Thermal expansion and contraction of rock occurs between day and night time as temperatures fluctuate, generating sheeting of the outer layers of blocks and the sudden splitting of boulders.’
    • ‘It turned its lights back on, suddenly splitting in two.’
    • ‘A mineral that has cleavage will break or split along planes.’
    • ‘Then Gondwanaland itself split to form what we now know as South America, Africa and Madagascar.’
    • ‘After the appropriate treatment period, the pods were removed from the plant, placed onto ice, and split along the suture.’
    • ‘The smaller berries are also usually less liable to congestion and compression within the bunch, and are therefore less likely to split or suffer spoilage as a result of fungal diseases or bacteria.’
    break, chop, cut, hew, lop, cleave
    break apart, fracture, rupture, fissure, snap, come apart, splinter
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    1. 1.1 Remove or be removed by breaking, separating, or dividing.
      with object ‘the point was pressed against the edge of the flint to split off flakes’
      no object ‘an incentive for regions to split away from countries’
      • ‘Lackawanna County was split off from Luzerne on 13 August 1878.’
      • ‘As a science developed, it split off from philosophy.’
      • ‘The division was split off as a separate company in 1871.’
      • ‘Archaea split off from bacteria some four billion years ago.’
      • ‘Younger members gradually split off, building a separate house in the neighborhood.’
      • ‘If they decide to split off from the Episcopal Church as now constituted, these groups have an excellent opportunity to survive and prosper.’
      • ‘And, of course, there were those who said they would split away from the church when they decided to ordain women.’
      • ‘They have disapproved of the way the chief spokesman was appointed as well as the manner in which some constituents split away and held separate meetings.’
      • ‘When New Zealand split away from the supercontinent Gondwana some 80 million years ago, its flora and fauna were left to develop in isolation.’
      • ‘In 1960, the Gujarati-speaking areas of Bombay were split off to form the present-day Gujarat.’
      • ‘The blast caused a seismic rupture that split off a sizable part of Canada and created what we now know as Vancouver Island.’
      • ‘As the train surged on through the station the rear carriage split off and careered into the platform, scattering waiting travellers.’
      • ‘A few lengths were split off from a short section of 2x4, twisting and levering on the knife to pop them loose.’
      • ‘Icebergs split off from the towering ice-cliffs with deafening roars.’
      • ‘The strongly growing branches that are produced as a result of drastic pruning have poor attachment to the main stem and are likely to split off and fall if left to grow too long and heavy.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the material management operation was split off into a separate company.’
      • ‘When membranes split off, the result can be disastrous.’
      • ‘The first Assembly, in Edinburgh in 1560, was addressed by one of the Kirk's founders, John Knox, as the new church split away from the Catholic Church.’
      • ‘But the monotremes probably split away from this main line of evolution early on, in the late Jurassic or early Cretaceous.’
      • ‘Early humans split off from a common ancestor shared with chimpanzees between five and eight million years ago.’
      break up, separate, part, part company, become estranged, reach a parting of the ways
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    2. 1.2 Divide or cause to divide into parts or elements.
      no object ‘the river had split into a number of channels’
      with object ‘splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen’
      • ‘The flow of coolant when entering our heatsink base is split into six separate channels and two separate directions.’
      • ‘The development will be split into five separate blocks.’
      • ‘The retail business of both his Florida and New Mexico stores was split evenly between new and pre-owned vehicles.’
      • ‘The cotton country on this farm is split into two separate developments of about 1250 acres each.’
      • ‘Classes, which last for 45 minutes, are split into separate sessions for babies, one- to two-year-olds, and two- to four-year-olds.’
      • ‘The program is split into three separate phases.’
      • ‘This electricity splits the water molecules in an electrolyte, producing hydrogen.’
      • ‘Sozopol is split into two main parts: the old town and new town - known as Harmanite.’
      • ‘This resulted in two items being added, no items being dropped, one item being split into two separate items, and one item having minor wording changes.’
      • ‘The water molecule is split into hydrogen ions (positively charged atoms) and oxygen.’
      • ‘It left me absolutely dumbfounded to see the 25-foot high walls, to see how towns have been split into two.’
      • ‘It takes energy to split the water molecule and release hydrogen, but that energy is later recovered during oxidation to produce water.’
      • ‘He welcomed another measure now set to be adopted by the agency, under which the westbound carriageway will be split into two separate lanes.’
      • ‘Under the new scheme, the town centre will be split into 12 different zones which council bosses claim could be cleared in minutes.’
      • ‘But when did the Olympics split into separate Summer and Winter Games, and where were the first Winter Olympics held?’
      • ‘The response was split evenly - 44 percent didn't work; 44 percent did work.’
      • ‘Her hair was pulled back into a large ponytail which was split into five separate braids.’
      • ‘The exam is split into 10 separate tests, which last from two minutes to 18 minutes.’
      • ‘After much debate, it was split into two separate and distinct countries.’
      • ‘The playing field is split into three separate areas: surface, air, and underground.’
      fork, divide in two, divide, bifurcate, go in different directions, diverge, branch
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    3. 1.3with object Divide and share (something, especially resources or responsibilities)
      ‘they met up and split the booty’
      • ‘She wouldn't have to live in Dulles full time; she could split her duties between New York and Virginia.’
      • ‘For their first date, he invited her to split a bottle of whiskey under a highway overpass.’
      • ‘By splitting your investment between the stocks of two different companies, you reduce the potential risk to your portfolio.’
      • ‘Friday night I had a massage, then a boy came over and we split a bottle of red wine on my back step.’
      • ‘Suppose a couple agrees to split their assets, with one taking cash and the other taking mutual funds and stocks.’
      • ‘We paid for the fish, and Gwen grabbed a soda for herself and me to split before we headed out to her car.’
      • ‘Arrangements had been made for splitting the booty, and discussions had been held on future joint operations.’
      • ‘Next, inform them it is traditional in your country to split a bottle of liquor when strangers meet.’
      • ‘The result is that D's share is split between B and C, so that each gets €180,000.’
      • ‘We all drink litres of iced water and then we split the bill - usually about £1 each.’
      • ‘After only 5 hours one of the porters felt he did not want to carry on, so we split the load between the five of us and entered the bush walking along narrow tracks with deer jumping around ahead of us.’
      • ‘Currently, the federal and state governments split the responsibility for hospitals, community care and doctors.’
      • ‘Songwriting duties are split between the foursome with Liam weighing in with three decent enough efforts.’
      • ‘Why didn't you work together with the other pirates and just split the booty?’
      • ‘Are the two of you planning to split incomes/job responsibilities in the future?’
      • ‘Stalin urged that the invasion should be launched as early as possible so that the Germans would be forced to split their resources between the Eastern and Western fronts.’
      • ‘Balloons cost between 3 and 4 million and pilots often form syndicates to split the cost and share balloons.’
      • ‘But splitting his responsibilities with another MP would at least save him the indignity of being sacked.’
      • ‘We then split the responsibility in terms of who does what.’
      • ‘The couple now split the childcare duties, although Hough insists that her husband is the better parent.’
      share, share out, divide, divide up, apportion, allocate, allot, distribute, dole out, parcel out, measure out
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    4. 1.4with object Cause the fission of (an atom).
      • ‘Now that we know how to split atoms, splice genes, clone life and swap parts, what shall we do with that knowledge?’
      • ‘The greatest challenge to mankind is not to split the atom or climb the highest mountain.’
      • ‘A fission weapon consequently works through the creation of an uncontrolled nuclear reaction, which literally splits the atoms.’
      • ‘We can split the atom and land a rocket on Mars, but sanity and civilization are a delicate edifice of reason over a maelstrom of envy, insecurity, and terror.’
      • ‘Then your scientists stumbled upon the atom bomb, split the atom.’
      • ‘Einstein said that ever since the atom was split, the world has changed irrevocably, except the way we think.’
      • ‘Today's power plants were commissioned to split atoms for not more than four decades.’
      • ‘It is unpredictable, and it is the equivalent of splitting the atom on the molecular level, and we all know what harm nuclear technologies have wrought.’
      • ‘Ask a New Zealander who split the atom and they'll tell you it was Ernest Rutherford.’
      • ‘Individuals can have key roles to play - Stephenson built the first steam engine, Rutherford split the atom, Fleming discovered penicillin.’
      • ‘He split the atom, he demonstrated the shape of it with its nucleus and orbiting electrons.’
      • ‘An equivalent amount of energy would be necessary to split the atom apart.’
      • ‘The only relief in this mass of subatomic neutrons, are the admittedly fascinating portraits of the oddball scientists who split the atom and paved the way for the nuclear bomb.’
      • ‘Seventy years ago, it was thought to be absolutely impossible to split the atom.’
      • ‘Like the atoms that must be split for a fission bomb to explode, modern-day Lahore is itself divided: between old and new, rich and poor, conservative and liberal.’
      • ‘Our own Ernest Walton split the atom using something remarkably similar, but it all sounds so, well, physical, doesn't it?’
      • ‘It all started with the discovery of the atom, and how splitting it could release vast amounts of energy.’
      • ‘We've conquered outer space, but not inner space; we've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we've split the atom, but not our prejudice.’
      • ‘A woman could head a corporation and split the atom, but her appearance as a bride is still seen as her moment of triumph and the pinnacle of her career.’
      • ‘It will be powered by a fission reactor that will split uranium atoms, releasing heat that can be converted into electricity.’
    5. 1.5with object Issue new shares of (stock) to existing stockholders in proportion to their current holdings.
      • ‘Apple's decision to split the stock was made last April, and approved by the shareholders later that month.’
      • ‘When the shares hit $65, its executives decide to split the company's stock.’
      • ‘The IP firm, which split its stock four ways the day before, saw its new share price soar to $83.375, a rise of $26.6875 on the day.’
      • ‘Its stock has split twice and nearly tripled in price since 2000, making it one of the few Internet companies to have prospered.’
      • ‘According to MacUser, the dip won't prevent Apple from splitting its stock, a move approved both by the company's board and the majority of its shareholders.’
      • ‘In essence, the company splits the stock, printing new shares and giving them out to existing shareholders based on how many they already own.’
      • ‘I went back and checked; its stock has been split 13 times since 1978.’
      • ‘Can I refloat on the stock market, splitting two for one, if I think the shares are over valued?’
      • ‘He also said the bank had no intention to split its shares.’
      • ‘A year ago a whole rash of hi-tech companies decided to split their shares into smaller sizes, after euphoric investors had pushed up their share prices to heady levels.’
      • ‘Stonesoft is traded on the Helsinki stock market and did a four-to-one split just before tech stocks took a dive in March.’
      • ‘The stock has split six times in the last eight years, making the forgotten bounty of 48,000 shares in the company worth around $4 million.’
      • ‘So, if the value of the stock doesn't change, what motivates a company to split its stock?’
      • ‘Every time a stock decides to change its name, split, or do anything that will affect its stock certificate, a new number is assigned to it.’
      • ‘Companies for which high share price is driven by performance will split stocks.’
      • ‘The announced move marks the ninth time that Stryker shares have split in the 25 years since the company went public in 1979.’
      • ‘In the meantime, Nvidia plans to split its stock on a two-for-one basis, the company said yesterday.’
      • ‘He expects the cash-rich company, which has no debt, to split its stock 2-for-1 this year.’
      • ‘The company also announced plans to split its stock 2-for-1, leaving it with about 10.8 billion common shares.’
      • ‘If this were the case, you could split existing shares into smaller denominations to achieve an equal division.’
  • 2(with reference to a group of people) divide into two or more groups.

    no object ‘let's split up and find the other two’
    with object ‘once again the family was split up’
    • ‘It got so bad that we were faced with eviction and the family would have been split up.’
    • ‘Ultimately, the aim of such riding is to split the group, the hope being that one or two contenders for the yellow jersey may thus be left behind.’
    • ‘The pupils then split up into different groups to work on each place.’
    • ‘They would split up at earliest opportunity and the rival students would be forced to split into smaller groups as they tried to find the intruders.’
    • ‘If you're worried that by telling someone you risk the chance of your family being split up and you being taking into care it's worth remembering that this rarely happens and is actually really unusual.’
    • ‘They are not happy at a plan to split tutor groups, so they will be mixed in age.’
    • ‘We still don't really understand why we split the groups up, but we just did.’
    • ‘Then children and adults split into separate programs, coming together for certain classes and performances designed for everyone.’
    • ‘The family would have been split up at a time when we most needed one another.’
    • ‘The family won an appeal in February, ruling that the family should not be split up.’
    • ‘They have all been split up and sent to other homes, so we have promised to keep in touch.’
    • ‘Next year we need to split the groups to accommodate a more intense and effective training schedule.’
    • ‘The residents promise that they are highly responsible and long to stay together rather than be split up into different homes.’
    • ‘The group was split in two with half getting statins and the other half getting a ‘placebo’.’
    • ‘Paris and I suffered through Geometry together, splitting up afterwards so that she could go to art and I could go to orchestra.’
    • ‘She said students and teachers at the school are being split up and will attend a variety of other elementary schools next September.’
    • ‘It is very much a hero based game, but there is unit control, as well, there are times when it advisable to split your group into two and have them behave separately.’
    • ‘I can totally understand why the current residents are upset about being split up.’
    • ‘The decision to split the group follows a review started last year.’
    • ‘The 70 that turned up were split up to play in two matches against each other.’
    1. 2.1no object End a marriage or an emotional or working relationship.
      ‘I split up with my boyfriend a year ago’
      • ‘Readers don't need to know what bloggers had for breakfast or whether they have split up with their girlfriend or not.’
      • ‘Uncle David split up with his girlfriend today.’
      • ‘Only consider it if you would have no major problem with splitting up with your current partner anyway.’
      • ‘He split up with his wife after moving back to York, and has been unable to hold down a job because of his condition.’
      • ‘It is a few days before Valentine's Day and he has recently split up with Clementine after a relationship that lasted a year.’
      • ‘And she told him that a few years earlier she had split up with a man because he wanted to marry her and she didn't want to.’
      • ‘I split up with the father of my daughter, for various reasons and was therefore single again, but I was not looking for a relationship.’
      • ‘She was thought to have recently split up with her boyfriend but had been enjoying regular nights out with friends.’
      • ‘At the time, I sort of dismissed it, but, after I had split up with my boyfriend, I kept thinking about it.’
      • ‘Jane split up with him while pregnant, certain it wouldn't work out.’
      • ‘He was £17,000 in debt, about to split up with his girlfriend and thought he had failed his exams for the second time when actually he had passed.’
      • ‘Last year, she split up with her husband of fourteen years.’
      • ‘Over dinner, two members of the press pack tell me they've split up with their girlfriends by phone or e-mail in recent days.’
      • ‘She had later married, but split up with her husband in 1989.’
      • ‘I don't understand her fascination with someone whom she split up with 15 years ago.’
      • ‘I split up with the girl after about thirteen months.’
      • ‘If you split up with your partner, you should contact your bank regarding the joint account as soon as possible.’
      • ‘After he split up with his wife at the beginning of the year, his life spiralled out of control.’
      • ‘The lack of legal protection also means that many men who have split up with the mothers of their children have been frozen out of their children's upbringing, and have to go to court if they want to get access.’
      • ‘Her last guy, Mark, had split up with her a week ago.’
      break up, separate, part, part company, become estranged, reach a parting of the ways
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2with object (of an issue) cause (a group) to be divided because of opposing views.
      ‘the party was deeply split over its future direction’
      • ‘By 1972 the Democratic Party in North Carolina was deeply split over the issue of race.’
      • ‘The survey, conducted between mid-April and mid-June, found most ethnic groups were evenly split on the issue of national identity.’
      • ‘Workers leaving Longbridge yesterday were split on who was responsible for the crisis.’
      • ‘The prime minister's Social Democratic party is itself notoriously split on the issue of European integration.’
      • ‘When the group almost split over the issue of whether to focus on confrontational action or voter registration, she healed the breach by saying it should work on both.’
      • ‘Nationalist activists were thus split over constitutional issues as well as partisan versus non-partisan political strategies.’
      • ‘He talks candidly about his feelings over these turbulent months and discusses his views on the issues splitting the modern Church.’
      • ‘The Government is split over the issue of drugs in prison.’
      • ‘Conservation groups are also split, the Ramblers Association calling on the park authority to reject the plans.’
      • ‘The nation appears to be split over the question of whether abortion should be available on demand or only under certain conditions.’
      • ‘Views are split over whether to apply for shares.’
      • ‘In the past members have been split over the issue, with some wanting to move and others forming a preservation society because they wanted to stay.’
      • ‘The European Union, in fact, is deeply split over such issues as its budget and constitution.’
      • ‘The party which has for over 100 years been the main focus of working class politics is now split over an issue of life and death.’
      • ‘However, the scientific community is split over the issue.’
      • ‘The party, which was deeply split on the issue, could very well break apart.’
      • ‘The lough-side village has been split over the issue with one side arguing that the football pitch was required to meet the sporting needs of the young.’
      • ‘The road has proved to be a contentious issue, splitting the village of Hilperton into two camps, one supporting the application, the other campaigning against it.’
      • ‘Later, it was learned that the largest faction in the House was split over the issue.’
      • ‘Cultural issues have split libertarians from social conservatives.’
      divide, disunite, separate, sever
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  • 3informal no object (of one's head) suffer great pain from a headache.

    ‘my head is splitting’
    • ‘I was getting even more tired than I already was, I was cranky, I had a splitting headache and I thought my poor little feet would collapse beneath me any second.’
    • ‘Her head was splitting and the light made it feel even worse.’
    • ‘She does have a splitting headache and an extremely dry mouth.’
    • ‘Her head was splitting and she felt cold, ever so cold, and tired.’
    • ‘I left early, due to a splitting headache, but it was a great night.’
    • ‘So a couple of weeks back I was feeling exhausted, had a splitting headache, intense muscle pain.’
    • ‘He felt as if his body was burning and his head was splitting.’
    • ‘I busted my lip, puked, missed class, received a black eye and splitting headache, and was ignored by my friends all on the same day.’
    • ‘The film opens with him suffering from that most human frailty, a splitting headache.’
    • ‘I could feel another head splitting migraine, all from having to hear Becky and Jake ‘canoodle’ in the backseat.’
    • ‘I had a splitting headache and my eyes were blurring, though not from tears.’
    • ‘My head was splitting and I could barely breathe.’
    • ‘I woke up with a splitting headache, unaware of my surroundings.’
    • ‘I have to get out of here - my head is absolutely splitting.’
    • ‘He has a splitting headache and is suffering flashbacks filled with scenes that suggest a danger-filled past.’
    • ‘Afterwards he was relieved, he had the most splitting headache you could have.’
    • ‘The past few days had given him nothing but anxiety and splitting headaches.’
    • ‘All of a sudden I was extremely dehydrated, with a splitting headache.’
    • ‘I'm home sick today, splitting headache and stuff.’
    • ‘I had difficulty sleeping last night due to the heat and a splitting headache.’
    agonizing, extremely painful, severe, acute, intense, extreme, savage, violent, racking, searing, piercing, stabbing, raging, harrowing, tormenting, grievous
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  • 4British informal no object Betray the secrets of or inform on someone.

    ‘I told him I wouldn't split on him’
    • ‘Hence, for instance, the new act of parliament that protects people from victimisation if they split on their bosses.’
    inform against, inform on, tell tales on, give away, sell out, stab in the back
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  • 5informal no object Leave a place, especially suddenly.

    ‘“Let's split,” Harvey said’
    • ‘It was a wonderful venue - pity about the DJ - but not quite up to par so we split early and headed for another club to dance what was left of the night away.’
    depart from, go away from, go from, withdraw from, retire from, take oneself off from, exit from, take one's leave of, pull out of, quit, be gone from, decamp from, disappear from, abandon, vacate, absent oneself from, evacuate
    leave, depart, go, go away, go off, take one's leave, take oneself off, withdraw, absent oneself, say one's goodbyes, quit, make an exit, exit, break camp, decamp, retreat, beat a retreat, retire
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nounPlural splits

  • 1A tear, crack, or fissure in something, especially down the middle or along the grain.

    ‘light squeezed through a small split in the curtain’
    • ‘As Mr. Kendall explained, the split or tear observed in the photographs in Mr. Johnston's report, Folio 2 page 15, is at the top of the cant.’
    • ‘Cracks and splits can be detrimental to good accuracy, and could possibly cause injury to the shooter should the rifle decide to come apart when fired.’
    • ‘Finger splits, or fissures, are one of the more frequent winter skin complaints Kunin addresses.’
    • ‘In contrast, frost cracks are vertical splits that penetrate deep into the wood.’
    • ‘A small split has appeared along the chest area as well.’
    • ‘Cracks, splits and holes are by definition one of the biggest problems in sealing technology.’
    • ‘Make sure windscreen wipers are in good condition without any splits or tears’
    • ‘Equally uncomfortable as cold sores are cracks and splits that can sometimes occur in the corners of the mouth or on the lips.’
    • ‘The rock runs north-south, with a split through the middle and the lighthouse on the larger, southern part of the rock.’
    • ‘These cracks were narrow splits, predominantly perpendicular to the seed's long axis.’
    • ‘You were not able to check whether there were any splits or tears in the lead in the parapet gutter?’
    • ‘Repair splits or tears with nail glue or clear polish.’
    • ‘There are also types of adhesive caulking that will mend split or loose roofing shingles as well as splits or cracks in siding.’
    • ‘It allows you to visually inspect your cases for cracks and splits much more easily.’
    • ‘The axe can then be removed an sometimes hammered in further along the split.’
    • ‘I accept the evidence of Mr. Pearson and Mr. Glendon with respect to their observations of the crack or split or fissure in the tubing.’
    crack, fissure, cleft, crevice, break, fracture, breach
    rip, tear, cut, rent, slash, slit
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An instance or act of splitting or being split; a division.
      ‘the split between the rich and the poor’
      • ‘Note how the split appears to occur between neighboring actin bundles.’
      • ‘There is no indication that Peter Faulding ever made a specific proposal to the Deakins either at this, or any later, stage that there should be a split of shares along these lines.’
      • ‘Education appears to value the split created between socially valued knowledge and experiential knowledge.’
      • ‘This seems to be just another instance of the classic split between graphic design and information design.’
      • ‘The company calculates that its split into northern and southern divisions will provide a platform for profitable growth over the next six months.’
      • ‘Of course at every instant a split occurs each of us becomes one or more close duplicates, each traveling a new universe.’
      • ‘Once Rehnquist resigned and Roberts took his place you have a split down the middle 4-4 court with O'Connor in the middle.’
      • ‘Obviously, back in Vietnam when there was a split in the country, you had clear ideological divisions.’
      • ‘Most polymorphism thus appears to predate the split of these closely related genera.’
      • ‘The frogs were silent and branches broke with a split and crack.’
      • ‘At 2.2 mm diameter, the ribs are particularly strong near the umbilicus and become weaker after their split in the middle of the flank.’
      • ‘With only three games left before the split into three divisions every result now takes on even greater importance.’
      • ‘There is a marked split between rich and poor in most of the country.’
      • ‘But as you know, there's a lot of people concerned about the split, the division between the executive and the legislative branch.’
      • ‘Base the split along the lines of where the expertise lies.’
      • ‘It recommends that a radical new funding formula is devised to redress the balance, based on actual crime figures, not an arbitrary three-way split between the divisions.’
      • ‘The above split of proceeds excludes the moneys of pre-delivery instalments already paid by the company and received by the Yard.’
      • ‘Where the split occurs along the body determines how much duplication of organs there is and the degree of competition between the two heads.’
      • ‘It's a clear split down the middle: boy bands and us.’
      • ‘The obstacles to the large-scale reform of the United Nations may reside above all in the split between the rich North and the poor South, the haves and the have-nots.’
    2. 1.2 A separation into parties or within a party; a schism.
      ‘the accusations caused a split in the party’
      • ‘There are a lot of reasons for this failure, including the long-time split within the party between hawks and doves.’
      • ‘Divisions and splits in the Callaghan government had ‘led to 18 years of Thatcherism’.’
      • ‘The voluntary organisation has been riven by internal conflict, with a split over its future direction.’
      • ‘A split along national lines, whereby England's vote comprises a mirror image of that north of the Border, looks set to trigger a political row which could test the mettle of the new parliament.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the splits within his party, he claims, have been devastating.’
      • ‘The split within the party has led to tactical shifts in which conservatives and Democrats often team up to embarrass the ruling moderate Republicans.’
      • ‘But now, suddenly, we can't tell whether a split is a real division or just an honest difference of opinion.’
      • ‘The long and short of it is that the splits and divisions on the far side of the House are irreconcilable and deep.’
      • ‘And its message of peace is still needed in world conflicts, neighbourhood rows, family splits - and, yes, in church divisions.’
      • ‘In the early 1940s, however, splits appeared in the Fianna Fail government over how beneficial land distribution was.’
      • ‘Society is in chaos, tainted with conflict and splits between the haves and have-nots, conservatives and progressives, and management and labor.’
      • ‘One member who attended a special general meeting on the plan earlier this month, said the split had developed along classic generational lines.’
      • ‘It is doubtless unfortunate for the split to appear at this stage, with an election on the horizon.’
      • ‘Despite divisions in Afrikanerdom and splits in the government over strategy, the security forces, including the black police, had remained loyal.’
      • ‘One piece decries the stark split tearing the country, and another seems to pine for a sort of folksy patriotism.’
      • ‘Despite the many splits and divisions which have plagued the Gaels through the years, there have always been a few things which brought us together.’
      • ‘The split reflects a division of opinion among courts generally on the issue of affirmative action.’
      • ‘‘There appears to be a split between the chairman and the non executives at Gresham,’ a Red Sea source said.’
      • ‘The conference's family orientation also helped to prevent a split, because a division would undoubtedly have separated relatives.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, splits occurred along class lines, on the issue of temperance, and on account of differences in personality among the leaders.’
      division, rift, breach, schism, rupture, partition, separation, severance, break-up, alienation, estrangement
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 An ending of a marriage or an emotional or working relationship.
      ‘a much-publicized split with his wife’
      • ‘Duffy's sudden desire to conceive a child no longer fits into Meg's schedule, and the strain on their relationship causes a split.’
      • ‘I thought it was a pretty useful word that allowed New Zealanders to talk about how they would look after their kids in the event of a relationship split.’
      • ‘Richard Cooper, defending, told the court of the marriage split which drove Franklyn to the drugs.’
      • ‘Along with the split came a new licensing agreement.’
      • ‘A website offering cheap divorces online has processed its 15,000th marriage split.’
      • ‘News of their engagement, marriage, and split made the papers on a regular basis.’
      • ‘O'Byrne had an acrimonious split from his wife who formed a relationship with another man.’
      • ‘Pitt says there was a certain beauty in his marriage to Aniston, and surprisingly, also in their split.’
      • ‘Mrs Moffat told the inquest that Mrs Seaton had been devastated over the temporary split but did not think the relationship was going to work out.’
      • ‘A study has found that more than 70 per cent of new marriages ends in a split and the child is a main reason for the break-up.’
      • ‘Fortunately, the split was relatively free of rancour, and her father remained a consistent presence and guiding spirit in her life.’
      • ‘This is possible, I suppose, although my admittedly sketchy review of the relationship didn't reveal any hints of a split.’
      • ‘It has since transpired that this ‘other’ woman only became Zurawski's girlfriend after a marriage split that occurred long before he arrived in Scotland.’
      • ‘The singer has also insisted that his split from Kerry will not affect his relationship with his two children.’
      • ‘It is believed his split from his second wife last month sent him back into the binge-drinking spiral which has plagued his adult life.’
      • ‘The inquest heard how Mr Palmer had been coping well following his split with his wife of 14 years.’
      • ‘The split was acrimonious and relations are still strained.’
      • ‘The radio star and DJ have blamed hectic work schedules for causing their marriage split.’
      • ‘His acrimonious split from his wife has contributed to his blithely acknowledged misogyny, hence there are no women working in his restaurant.’
      • ‘Is this evidence of one of the first Hollywood relationships with a friendly split?’
      break-up, split-up, separation, parting, estrangement, parting of the ways, rift, rupture, breach
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4
      short for stock split
  • 2a split" or "the splits(in gymnastics and dance) an act of leaping in the air or sitting down with the legs straight and at right angles to the upright body, one in front and the other behind, or one at each side.

    ‘I could never do a split before’
    • ‘So I said to the Gym instructor ‘Can you teach me to do the splits?’’
    • ‘I'm a gymnast, you know, I can do the splits right here (she could).’
    • ‘Either way it'll get you doing the splits on the dance floor.’
    • ‘He was the one that would fan the horse's head and then almost do the splits in midair and land on his feet, and the crowd loved that.’
    • ‘He is an ageing rocker who has found, mid-concert, that he can no longer do the splits while playing his guitar solo one-handed behind his head.’
    • ‘But she has been asked about her ability to do the splits on several occasions.’
    • ‘His left foot started to slide away on a patch of ice, but he caught himself before he managed to do the splits.’
    • ‘Remember the days when you could effortlessly do the splits, kick like a Rockette and put your foot behind your head on a dare?’
    • ‘He has even taken to adopting a putting stance that looks for all the world as though he is about to do the splits.’
    • ‘I occasionally try a few moves and last time I attempted it, I could still do the splits.’
    • ‘Lindsay saw Marissa trying to do the splits and almost touching the ground.’
    • ‘At age 74, she was more than capable of performing cartwheels and the splits!’
    • ‘I may be 230 lb but I can do the splits and dance the Cajun two-step for two hours.’
    • ‘But you try doing the splits upside down with your head underwater and all the while keeping a smile on your face.’
    • ‘She currently can run the 40-yard dash in 5.5 seconds, do the splits and jump 30 inches for her vertical leap.’
    • ‘They soar, spin, and dive to the floor, then spiral swiftly back to shoulder stands, splits and endless balances.’
    • ‘This tip will make the skates turn in an arc so you won't do the splits!’
    • ‘You don't just get up and do the splits in your late 30s no matter how enthusiastic you are, Laucinda says.’
    • ‘I'm the first old man of 74 years old to do the splits.’
  • 3A thing that is divided or split.

    • ‘Dots for each bar indicate taxa on one half of the split.’
    • ‘Nor do we have all of the split posts, as there are too many half splits with the central pith intact.’
    1. 3.1 A bun, roll, or cake that is split or cut in half.
    2. 3.2 A split osier used in basketwork.
      • ‘So you come back and you hit the stick of wood right in the middle, right through here, and it'll give you two splits.’
      • ‘Seating himself on his accustomed stool, he began to weave the splits dexterously in an out.’
      • ‘Then as he walked, he wove the splits into a basket to be traded at the store for whatever provisions the family needed.’
    3. 3.3 Each strip of steel or cane that makes up the reed in a loom.
      • ‘Tweeling is produced by increasing the number of threads in each split of the reed.’
      • ‘After the warp ends have been threaded individually through wire eyes on the shafts, they are sleyed collectively through each split in the reed.’
    4. 3.4 Half a bottle or glass of champagne or other liquor.
      • ‘We drank a split of Taittinger Brut champagne during the appetizers, and our patience was rewarded.’
      • ‘You see, back then, it was cool to drink a split.’
    5. 3.5 A single thickness of split hide.
      • ‘They use only quality top-grain leather in their products and do not use leather splits or vinyls.’
      • ‘His factory didn't even tan the split (another part of the leather making process); they'd sell them off to be made into gloves or whatever.’
    6. 3.6 (in bowling) a formation of standing pins after the first ball in which there is a gap between two pins or groups of pins, making a spare unlikely.
      • ‘On certain splits, or even on spare shots when a single pin is needed, bowlers will roll the ball from what they consider an easier or safer angle.’
      • ‘If you look around and don't see as many strikes, and a lot of splits or spares are on the board, the lanes probably are playing a little bit tougher.’
      • ‘Workman, meanwhile, got a split in the second frame, then strung seven strikes in a row, pretty much ending the match.’
      • ‘The big-hook players leave many more difficult spares and splits than a player with a narrower angle of entry.’
      • ‘Also, when you're bowling well, the miss-hits don't leave you with big splits and tough spares.’
    7. 3.7North American A drawn game or series.
      • ‘Prior to the four games, coach Bishop expressed his desire to at least register a split in the two games last Saturday against the Western squad which he said is close in skill level to Waterloo.’
      • ‘SFU's women's basketball squad pulled off a split in two tight matches against the Dinos on Jan.13 and 14.’
      • ‘But they still get to keep this week's top spot, mainly because the series ended in a split, and no one below them did all that much to leap ahead.’
      • ‘English cricket chief David Morgan said the World Cup match in Zimbabwe must go ahead to avoid a split in the international game.’
      • ‘As the Series headed north after a split at Edison Field, the styles had been established but not an advantage.’
      • ‘Only 5 of the Yankees’ 14 runs were earned as the four-game series ended in a split.’
      • ‘Maybe they should be happy to get out of Atlanta with a split of the two games.’
      • ‘And yesterday, in a rusty performance by both teams after a month layoff, even their exhibition game ended in a split with a 5-5 draw.’
      • ‘At Miami, Carlos Delgado hit a pinch-hit grand slam to cap a six-run fifth inning for Florida to salvage a split in the four-game series.’
    8. 3.8US A split-level house.
      • ‘My house is a split, so the basement is only under the main part of the house.’
      • ‘The fact that your home is a split should not be a major factor here.’
  • 4The time it takes to complete a recognized part of a race, or the point in the race where such a time is measured.

    • ‘Also, pay attention to first half and second half splits.’
    • ‘The talk was of stroke-rates, times, splits, lactate curves, heart rate, aerobic thresholds.’
    • ‘Holland's Pieter van den Hoogenband had the fastest freestyle split.’
    • ‘Over the last two years, Davis has kept a chart of Thorpe's record times and splits on the wall of his bedroom.’
    • ‘Hamilton is setting fast times on the road, but no-one is matching the splits of leading duo David Millar and Laszlo Bodrogi.’
    • ‘As a fierce relay anchor, Correia has the fastest 50 and 100-yard freestyle relay splits in history.’
    • ‘Her butterfly split of 57.65 was the fastest of the year and third fastest all-time.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, later in the day, he ran the first leg of the winning England 4 x 200m relay team with a personal best split of 22.7s.’


  • split the difference

    • Take the average of two proposed amounts.

      • ‘Well, I tell you what, why don't we split the difference?’
      • ‘Even if we split the difference and figure that we'll need 240MW of new generation every year, it doesn't change the fact that we've built less than 500MW-worth in the past five years.’
      • ‘If we split the difference and say that the average price of statins is $90 a month, that's $1,080 a year for drugs and $210 a year for labs.’
      • ‘If I say two plus two equals four, and you say two plus two equals 1 billion, is it really such a great advance to split the difference and agree that it's somewhere near 500 million?’
      • ‘Well, if the House wants $550 billion in tax cuts, the Senate approved $350 billion, what, do you just split the difference and come up with $450 billion?’
      • ‘He agreed to split the difference between the two ad rates, settling for a price of about $10 per thousand viewers.’
      • ‘In this case, you cannot simply split the difference, by taking the mean average; you must decide which turnout model is going to be correct, the one or the other.’
      • ‘Can't we just split the difference and all be comfortable?’
      • ‘In a compromise, the leaders will split the difference, resulting in an agreement to distribute 18 to 21% of World Bank aid in the form of grants.’
      • ‘Since one rep is motivated to overstate the claim, and the other is motivated to understate it, we recommend splitting the difference and going to press with 7,500.’
      meet each other halfway, find the middle ground, come to terms, come to an understanding, make a deal, make concessions, find a happy medium, strike a balance
      View synonyms
  • split one's sides

    • informal Be convulsed with laughter.

      ‘the dynamic comedy duo will have you splitting your sides with laughter’
      • ‘They can bring tears or make people split their sides with laughter.’
      • ‘As his costume split its seams, audiences split their sides.’
      • ‘We want people to come, split their sides laughing and then go home in great form.’
      • ‘No second-rate seat would have withstood the pressure from two young children bouncing up and down with glee for two hours, splitting their sides and shouting themselves hoarse.’
      • ‘This year they will have audiences splitting their sides with laughter with their crazy antics.’
      • ‘To tell you the truth, we got as much fun from that incident as we did from winning the final, and I'd say whenever we met thereafter rarely an occasion passed when we didn't split our sides.’
      • ‘I bought the book for my husband - we're both avid campers - and I've nearly split my sides laughing at the encounters with rattlesnakes and bears.’
      • ‘They will be splitting their sides in London over the spectacle of yet another Scottish solution to a Scottish problem.’
      • ‘The so-called class enemies of capitalists must be splitting their sides.’
      • ‘Everyone split their sides, they were laughing so hard.’
      roar with laughter, laugh, guffaw, roar, laugh loudly, howl with laughter, dissolve into laughter, be creased up, be doubled up
      View synonyms
  • split the ticket (or one's vote)

    • Vote for candidates of more than one party.

      • ‘Luckily, in New Zealand, we can split our vote, which makes the electoral dynamic rather different than under a first past the post system.’
      • ‘I will probably split my vote as I did last time by voting for a candidate chosen for personal qualities but voting for a different party.’
      • ‘The Academy rarely splits the ticket, so I think he'll get both statues.’
      • ‘He acknowledged that political parties did not encourage tactical voting in their campaign strategies, but sophisticated voters could split their vote.’
      • ‘Divided government comes from centrist voters who split the ticket to achieve their desired ideological mix.’
      • ‘So I voted a few times and split my vote between them.’
      • ‘In the presidential election, we must not split our vote between Greens and Democrats.’
      • ‘Both the Senate and the presidential campaigns are tied together somewhat, although there will be people that will split the ticket.’
      • ‘Having two votes, a citizen could now split his vote and avoid this dilemma.’
      • ‘A hundred thousand expats could only add a percentage point or two to a list's total, especially since they will split their vote among several lists.’
  • split the vote

    • (of a candidate or minority party) attract votes from another candidate or party with the result that both are defeated by a third.

      • ‘If one prefers party A or B, but never C, then under the current system one must choose A or B and split the vote.’
      • ‘His decision to stand as an Independent split the vote, allowing Mr Exley to win the seat with 1,607 votes.’
      • ‘She stood as an Independent instead, splitting the vote.’
      • ‘I was on the verge of winning and he split the vote.’
      • ‘The major problem the Democrats had is that no less than three Democrats ran for the office, splitting the vote and media attention between them.’
      • ‘And instead of two or three parties opposing the ruling party, there were six or seven or eight opposing the ruling party and they split their vote terribly.’
      • ‘The very fact that they could succeed in splitting the vote was indicative of a general degeneration and fragmentation of the Left.’
      • ‘Progressives across the country were presented with an old problem - vote for a less-than-perfect Democrat, or support a noble but doomed protest candidate and risk splitting the vote.’
      • ‘The danger is that they may split the vote and drag each other down.’
      • ‘It is a crying shame we couldn't all come together to avoid splitting the vote.’


Late 16th century (originally in the sense ‘break up a ship’, describing the force of a storm or rock): from Middle Dutch splitten, of unknown ultimate origin.




Main definitions of split in US English:

: split1Split2


proper noun

  • A seaport on the coast of southern Croatia; population 177,500 (est. 2009). It contains the ruins of the palace of the emperor Diocletian, built in about AD 300.