9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for schism
  • The doctoral shortage reveals a schism in the field of teacher education that needs some work to repair.
  • Talk of colossal corruption and of rivalries between senior princes fuelled fears of schism inside the ruling family.
  • Then you see that imprinted early in our history were yeoman traditions with religious schism accepted rather than repressed.
  • He says that there should be no schism in the body but that the members should have the same care one to another.
  • There is an unfortunate schism between scientists and power.
  • Two decades of schism were bound to feed both unorthodox ideas and an autonomous chain of authority.
  • There may also be concerns that a schism could occur.
  • Thus he formed a pernicious schism which took its name from him, and subsisted a hundred and fifty years.
  • The announcement of the garden being converted to residential use created a schism in the community.
  • The schism between these two types of goals can be seen in the studies to be reviewed below.
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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schism in the Bible

a separation, an alienation causing divisions among Christians, who ought to be united (1 Cor. 12:25).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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