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[dih-vahy-der] /dɪˈvaɪ dər/
a person or thing that divides.
dividers, a pair of compasses, as used for dividing lines, measuring, etc.
a partition between two areas or dividing one area into two, as a piece of cardboard in a box or a bookcase jutting out from a wall.
Mining. bunton.
Origin of divider
First recorded in 1520-30; divide + -er1
Related forms
predivider, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dividers
Historical Examples
  • It can be done with the dividers by using care in scribing the centers.

  • There is a knack in the use of the dividers, where accuracy is wanted, and where the surface is of wood.

    Carpentry for Boys J. S. Zerbe
  • But the brisk, courteous person with the dividers and tape-measure is reassuring.

    The Perfect Gentleman Ralph Bergengren
  • "I wonder if there is such a thing as a pair of dividers here," he remarked.

    The Secret Wireless

    Lewis E. Theiss
  • With his dividers he found the letter next nearest to the centre.

    The Secret Wireless

    Lewis E. Theiss
  • There is no ambiguity here; the drawers are also the dividers.

    The Parables of Our Lord William Arnot
  • With a pair of dividers find the center of both the top and the bottom of the vase.

    The Potter's Craft Charles F. Binns
  • Measure it always with the dividers, and in front of the leg.

  • In its form, it bears some resemblance to the compasses or dividers.

  • It is the killing of the church, (as much as lieth in the dividers,) or the wounding it at least.

    A Christian Directory Baxter Richard
British Dictionary definitions for dividers


plural noun
a type of compass with two pointed arms, used for measuring lines or dividing them


Also called room divider. a screen or piece of furniture placed so as to divide a room into separate areas
a person or thing that divides
(electronics) an electrical circuit with an output that is a well-defined fraction of the given input: a voltage divider
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dividers



1520s, agent noun from divide (v.). Meaning "partition or screen," especially in a room, is from 1959.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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