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 formspre·di·vid·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dividers

Historical Examples of dividers

  • 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.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for dividers


pl n

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 inputa 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

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