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90s Slang You Should Know


[siz-uh m, skiz-] /ˈsɪz əm, ˈskɪz-/
division or disunion, especially into mutually opposed parties.
the parties so formed.
  1. a formal division within, or separation from, a church or religious body over some doctrinal difference.
  2. the state of a sect or body formed by such division.
  3. the offense of causing or seeking to cause such a division.
Origin of schism
1350-1400; < Late Latin (Vulgate) sc(h)isma (stem sc(h)ismat-) < Greek, derivative of schízein to split, with -ma (stem -mat-) noun suffix of result; replacing Middle English (s)cisme, sisme < Middle French < Late Latin, as above
Related forms
schismless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for schism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I know it will be all sense for the church, and all causticity for schism.

    Shirley Charlotte Bront
  • The work of schism has been pretty extensive in some parts of this District.

    The Story of My Life Egerton Ryerson
  • Everything unjustly taken from the churches by the emperor or his followers during the schism shall be restored to them.

  • In that case you would choose some other ultimatum as your test of schism.

    Loss and Gain John Henry Newman
  • The obscurity first begins to clear away when we remember that in England schism went before Reformation.

    Studies of Christianity James Martineau
British Dictionary definitions for schism


/ˈskɪzəm; ˈsɪz-/
the division of a group into opposing factions
the factions so formed
division within or separation from an established Church, esp the Roman Catholic Church, not necessarily involving differences in doctrine
Word Origin
C14: from Church Latin schisma, from Greek skhisma a cleft, from skhizein to split
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 schism

late 14c., scisme, "dissention within the church," from Old French scisme, cisme "a cleft, split" (12c.), from Church Latin schisma, from Greek skhisma (genitive skhismatos) "division, cleft," in New Testament applied metaphorically to divisions in the Church (e.g. I Cor. xii.25), from stem of skhizein "to split" (see shed (v.)). Spelling restored 16c., but pronunciation unchanged. Often in reference to the Great Schism (1378-1417) in the Western Church.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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schism in Culture
schism [(siz-uhm, skiz-uhm)]

A break within a church, such as the division between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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