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[dih-vahy-siv, -vis-iv] /dɪˈvaɪ sɪv, -ˈvɪs ɪv/
forming or expressing division or distribution.
creating dissension or discord.
1590-1600; < Late Latin dīvīsīvus, equivalent to Latin dīvīs(us) (see divisible) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
divisively, adverb
divisiveness, noun
nondivisive, adjective
nondivisively, adverb
nondivisiveness, noun
semidivisive, adjective
semidivisively, adverb
semidivisiveness, noun
undivisive, adjective
undivisively, adverb
undivisiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for divisiveness
  • In an era of increasing divisiveness, viewing this film can inspire students to reflect on a myriad of vital and timely issues.
  • It is less pleasant, however, to tackle the divisiveness and rancor of countrymen and kin.
  • As the proportion of part-time instructors grew, so too did divisiveness within faculty ranks, further diluting professors' power.
  • All the divisiveness and anger has not done the country one bit of good.
  • We have to ask those who are behind the divisiveness to stop meddling into the system.
  • We have allowed divisiveness to hammer the social welfare of our people for a generation.
British Dictionary definitions for divisiveness


causing or tending to cause disagreement or dissension
(archaic) having the quality of distinguishing
Derived Forms
divisively, adverb
divisiveness, 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
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Word Origin and History for divisiveness



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
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