split hairs. hair(def 11).
    split the difference. difference(def 13).

Origin of split

1570–80; 1950–55 for def 13; < Dutch splitten; akin to splijten, German spleissen to split
Related formssplit·ta·ble, adjectivepre·split, adjectiveun·split, adjectiveun·split·ta·ble, adjective




a splitting or separating into two or more parts.
a separation or dissociation of two groups or people.
Commerce. a process of reorganizing a corporate structure whereby all the capital stock and assets are exchanged for those of two or more newly established companies, resulting in the liquidation of the parent corporation.Compare spin-off(def 1), split-off(def 3).

Origin of split-up

First recorded in 1830–40; noun use of verb phrase split up Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for split up

split up

verb (adverb)

(tr) to separate out into parts; divide
(intr) to become separated or parted through disagreementthey split up after years of marriage
to break down or be capable of being broken down into constituent partsI have split up the question into three parts

noun split-up

the act or an instance of separating



a port and resort in W Croatia on the Adriatic: remains of the palace of Diocletian (295–305). Pop: 188 000 (2005 est)Italian name: Spalato


verb splits, splitting or split

to break or cause to break, esp forcibly, by cleaving into separate pieces, often into two roughly equal piecesto split a brick
to separate or be separated from a wholehe split a piece of wood from the block
to separate or be separated into factions, usually through discord
(often foll by up) to separate or cause to separate through a disagreement
(when tr, often foll by up) to divide or be divided among two or more personssplit up the pie among the three of us
slang to depart; leavelet's split; we split the scene
(tr) to separate (something) into its components by interposing something elseto split a word with hyphens
(intr usually foll by on) slang to betray the trust, plans, etc (of); informhe split on me to the cops
(tr) US politics to mark (a ballot, etc) so as to vote for the candidates of more than one partyhe split the ticket
(tr) to separate (an animal hide or skin) into layers
split hairs to make a fine but needless distinction
split one's sides to laugh very heartily
split the difference
  1. to settle a dispute by effecting a compromise in which both sides give way to the same extent
  2. to divide a remainder equally


the act or process of splitting
a gap or rift caused or a piece removed by the process of splitting
a breach or schism in a group or the faction resulting from such a breach
a dessert of sliced fruit and ice cream, covered with whipped cream, nuts, etcbanana split
  1. a separated layer of an animal hide or skin other than the outer layer
  2. leather made from such a layer
tenpin bowling a formation of the pins after the first bowl in which there is a large gap between two pins or groups of pins
informal an arrangement or process of dividing up loot or money


having been split; dividedsplit logs
having a split or splitshair with split ends
See also splits, split up
Derived Formssplitter, noun

Word Origin for split

C16: from Middle Dutch splitten to cleave; related to Middle High German splīzen; see splice
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 split up



1580s, from Middle Dutch splitten, from Proto-Germanic *spl(e)it- (cf. Danish and Frisian splitte, Old Frisian splita, German spleißen "to split"), from PIE *(s)plei- "to split, splice" (see flint).

Meaning "leave, depart" first recorded 1954, U.S. slang. Of couples, "to separate, divorce" from 1942. To split the difference is from 1715; to split (one's) ticket in the U.S. political sense is attested from 1842. Splitting image "exact likeness" is from 1880. Split screen is from 1953; split shift is from 1955; split personality first attested 1919. Split-level as a type of building plan is recorded from 1952. Split-second first attested 1884, in reference to a type of stopwatch with two second hands that could be stopped independently; adjectival meaning "occurring in a fraction of a second" is from 1946.



1861 as the name of the acrobatic feat, from split (v.). Meaning "sweet dish of sliced fruit with ice cream" is attested from 1920, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for split up




To divide from end to end or along the grain by or as if by a sharp blow; tear.
To break, burst, or rip apart with force; rend.
To separate; disunite.
To break apart or divide a chemical compound into simpler constituents.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.