Etymology: Dutch splitten, from Middle Dutch; akin to Middle High German splīzen to split and probably to Old High German spaltan to split
a. to divide lengthwise usually along a grain or seam or by layers
b. to affect as if by cleaving or forcing apart <the river splits the town in two> 2. a. (1) to tear or rend apart ; burst (2) to subject (an atom or atomic nucleus) to artificial disintegration by fission b. to affect as if by breaking up or tearing apart ; shatter <a roar that split the air> 3. to divide into parts or portions: as a. to divide between persons ; share b. to divide into factions, parties, or groups c. to mark (a ballot) or cast or register (a vote) so as to vote for candidates of different parties d. (1) to divide or break down (a chemical compound) into constituents <split a fat into glycerol and fatty acids> (2) to remove by such separation <split off carbon dioxide> e. to divide (stock) by issuing a larger number of shares to existing shareholders usually without increase in total par value 4. to separate (the parts of a whole) by interposing something <split an infinitive> 5. leave <split the party> <split town> intransitive verb 1. a. to become split lengthwise or into layers b. to break apart ; burst 2. a. to become divided up or separated off <split into factions> <split from the group> b. to sever relations or connections ; separate c. leave; especially to leave without delay <split for the coast> 3. British to betray confidence ; act as an informer — usually used with on 4. to apportion shares Synonyms: see tear II. adjective Date: 1593 1. divided, fractured 2. prepared for use by splitting <split bamboo> <split hides> 3. heterozygous — used especially by breeders of cage birds sometimes with for III. noun Date: 1597 1. a. a narrow break made by or as if by splitting b. an arrangement of bowling pins left standing with space for pins between them 2. a piece split off or made thin by splitting 3. a. a division into or between divergent or antagonistic elements or forces <a cultural split> b. a faction formed in this way 4. a. the act or process of splitting (as the stock of a corporation) b. the act of lowering oneself to the floor or leaping into the air with legs extended at right angles to the trunk 5. a product of division by or as if by splitting 6. a wine bottle holding one quarter the usual amount or about .1875 liters (6 to 6.5 ounces); also the quantity held by a split 7. an ice cream sundae served over slices of fruit (as banana) 8. the recorded time at or for a specific part of a race
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.