Etymology: Middle English, from Latin dividere, from dis- + -videre to separate — more at widow
Date: 14th century
a. to separate into two or more parts, areas, or groups <divide the city into wards> b. to separate into classes, categories, or divisions <divide history into epochs> c. cleave, part <a ship dividing the waves> 2. a. to separate into portions and give out in shares ; distribute <divide profits> b. to possess, enjoy, or make use of in common <divide the blame> c. apportion <divides her time between the office and home> 3. a. to cause to be separate, distinct, or apart from one another <fields divided by stone walls> b. to separate into opposing sides or parties <the issues that divide us> c. to cause (a parliamentary body) to vote by division 4. a. to subject (a number or quantity) to the operation of finding how many times it contains another number or quantity <divide 42 by 14> b. to be used as a divisor with respect to (a dividend) <4 divides 16 evenly> c. to use as a divisor — used with into <divide 14 into 42> intransitive verb 1. to perform mathematical division 2. a. (1) to undergo replication, multiplication, fission, or separation into parts (2) to branch out b. to become separated or disunited especially in opinion or interest Synonyms: see separate, distribute • dividable adjective II. noun Date: 1642 1. an act of dividing 2. a. a dividing ridge between drainage areas b. a point or line of division or disagreement
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.