a. The act or process of dividing.
b. The state of having been divided.
2. Mathematics The operation of determining how many times one quantity is contained in another; the inverse of multiplication.
3. The proportional distribution of a quantity or entity: the division of his property among his heirs.
4. Something, such as a boundary or partition, that serves to divide or keep separate.
5. One of the parts, sections, or groups into which something is divided.
a. An area of government or corporate activity organized as an administrative or functional unit.
b. A territorial section marked off for political or governmental purposes.
a. An administrative and tactical military unit that is smaller than a corps but is self-contained and equipped for prolonged combat activity.
b. A group of several ships of similar type forming a tactical unit under a single command in the US Navy.
c. A former unit of the US Air Force that was larger than a wing and smaller than an air force.
8. Botany The taxonomic category ranking just below kingdom, consisting of one or more related classes, and corresponding approximately to a phylum in zoological classification.
9. A category created for purposes of competition, as in boxing.
a. Variance of opinion; disagreement.
b. A splitting into factions; disunion.
11. The physical separation and regrouping of members of a parliament according to their stand on an issue put to vote.
12. Biology Cell division.
13. A type of propagation characteristic of plants that spread by means of newly formed parts such as bulbs, suckers, or rhizomes.
[Middle English divisioun, from Old French division, from Latin dīvīsiō, dīvīsiōn-, from dīvīsus, past participle of dīvidere, to divide; see DIVIDE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.