[dih-vahy-siv, -vis-iv]
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Origin of divisive

1590–1600; < Late Latin dīvīsīvus, equivalent to Latin dīvīs(us) (see divisible) + -īvus -ive
Related formsdi·vi·sive·ly, adverbdi·vi·sive·ness, nounnon·di·vi·sive, adjectivenon·di·vi·sive·ly, adverbnon·di·vi·sive·ness, nounsem·i·di·vi·sive, adjectivesem·i·di·vi·sive·ly, adverbsem·i·di·vi·sive·ness, nounun·di·vi·sive, adjectiveun·di·vi·sive·ly, adverbun·di·vi·sive·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for divisive

disruptive, discordant

Examples from the Web for divisive

Contemporary Examples of divisive

Historical Examples of divisive

British Dictionary definitions for divisive


  1. causing or tending to cause disagreement or dissension
  2. archaic having the quality of distinguishing
Derived Formsdivisively, adverbdivisiveness, noun
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 divisive

c.1600, "having a quality of dividing," from Latin divis-, past participle stem of dividere (see divide (v.)) + -ive. Meaning "producing discord" is from 1640s. Related: Divisively; divisiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper