[dih-vahy-siv, -vis-iv]


forming or expressing division or distribution.
creating dissension or discord.

Nearby words

  1. division of labour,
  2. division ring,
  3. division sign,
  4. divisional,
  5. divisionism,
  6. divisively,
  7. divisor,
  8. divo,
  9. divorce,
  10. divorce court

Origin of divisive

1590–1600; < Late Latin dīvīsīvus, equivalent to Latin dīvīs(us) (see divisible) + -īvus -ive

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for divisive

British Dictionary definitions for divisive



causing or tending to cause disagreement or dissension
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