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[dih-vawrs, -vohrs] /dɪˈvɔrs, -ˈvoʊrs/
a judicial declaration dissolving a marriage in whole or in part, especially one that releases the marriage partners from all matrimonial obligations.
any formal separation of husband and wife according to established custom.
total separation; disunion:
a divorce between thought and action.
verb (used with object), divorced, divorcing.
to separate by divorce:
The judge divorced the couple.
to break the marriage contract between oneself and (one's spouse) by divorce:
She divorced her husband.
to separate; cut off:
Life and art cannot be divorced.
verb (used without object), divorced, divorcing.
to get a divorce.
Origin of divorce
1350-1400; Middle English < Anglo-French < Latin dīvortium separation, equivalent to dīvort(ere), variant of dīvertere to divert + -ium -ium
Related forms
divorceable, adjective
divorcer, noun
divorcive, adjective
nondivorced, adjective
undivorceable, adjective
undivorced, adjective
6. dissociate, divide, disconnect, split, disjoin.


[dih-vawr-sey, -vohr-, -vawr-sey, -vohr-] /dɪ vɔrˈseɪ, -voʊr-, -ˈvɔr seɪ, -ˈvoʊr-/
a divorced man.
1805-15; < French, noun use of masculine past participle of divorcer < Medieval Latin dīvortiāre to divorce, derivative of Latin dīvortium divorce Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for divorce
  • It isn't that divorce happens to marriage- rather, marriage causes divorce.
  • Agreed, those who cohabit before marriage are more likely to divorce.
  • So the silver lining in a divorce is retirement will rock as long as you stay free of another marriage.
  • My family had same issues, but my parents did not divorce.
  • divorce is increasing, especially among younger people.
  • divorce would free high testosterone males to find other cooperative females with which to reproduce again.
  • The couple had decided to divorce and were spending one last moment together in the water.
  • divorce is sometimes an evil and sometimes the remedy of an evil.
  • If they did marry, they were at high risk for divorce or separation.
  • People who took the soulmate route had higher levels of conflict and divorce.
British Dictionary definitions for divorce


the dissolution of a marriage by judgment of a court or by accepted custom
a judicial decree declaring a marriage to be dissolved
a separation, esp one that is total or complete
to separate or be separated by divorce; give or obtain a divorce (to a couple or from one's spouse)
(transitive) to remove or separate, esp completely
Derived Forms
divorceable, adjective
divorcer, noun
divorcive, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin dīvortium from dīvertere to separate; see divert


a man who has been divorced
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 divorce

late 14c., from Old French divorce (14c.), from Latin divortium "separation, dissolution of marriage," from divertere "to separate, leave one's husband, turn aside" (see divert). Not distinguished in English from legal separation until mid-19c.


late 14c., from Old French divorcer, from divorce (see divorce (n.)). Related: Divorced; divorcing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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divorce in the Bible

The dissolution of the marriage tie was regulated by the Mosaic law (Deut. 24:1-4). The Jews, after the Captivity, were reguired to dismiss the foreign women they had married contrary to the law (Ezra 10:11-19). Christ limited the permission of divorce to the single case of adultery. It seems that it was not uncommon for the Jews at that time to dissolve the union on very slight pretences (Matt. 5:31, 32; 19:1-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18). These precepts given by Christ regulate the law of divorce in the Christian Church.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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