I. split 1 S2 W3 /splɪt/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle split , present participle splitting )
[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: Dutch ; Origin: splitten ]
1 . DISAGREE [intransitive and transitive] if a group of people splits, or if it is split, people in the group disagree strongly with each other and the group sometimes divides into separate smaller groups:
It was feared that the issue would split the church.
be split on/over something
The party is split over the issue of immigration.
The government appears deeply split on this issue.
The Pan-Africanist Congress split from the ANC in 1959.
split something in two/down the middle
The war has split the nation in two.
2 . SEPARATE INTO PARTS ( also split up ) [intransitive and transitive] to divide or separate something into different parts or groups, or to be divided into different parts or groups
Can you split into groups of three now?
split something into something
The book is split into six sections.
3 . BREAK OR TEAR [intransitive and transitive] if something splits, or if you split it, it tears or breaks along a straight line:
The branch split under their weight.
One of the boxes had split open.
split (something) in two/half
The board had split in two.
Split the pineapple down the middle.
4 . SHARE [transitive] to divide something into separate parts and share it between two or more people
split something between somebody/something
Profits will be split between three major charities.
split something with somebody
He agreed to sell the car and split the proceeds with his brother.
split something three/four etc ways (=share something between three, four etc people or groups)
The money will have to be split three ways.
We agreed to split the cost.
5 . INJURE [transitive] to make someone’s head or lip have a cut in it, as a result of a fall or hit:
She fell against a table and split her lip.
The force of the blow nearly split his head open.
6 . END RELATIONSHIP ( also split up ) [intransitive] informal if people split, they end a marriage or relationship with each other
He split from his wife last year.
The band split two years ago.
7 . LEAVE [intransitive] old-fashioned informal to leave a place quickly:
Come on – let’s split.
8 . split hairs to argue that there is a difference between two things, when the difference is really too small to be important:
This is just splitting hairs.
9 . split the difference to agree on an amount that is exactly between two amounts that have been mentioned:
OK, let’s split the difference, and I’ll give you £20.
10 . split your sides informal to laugh a great deal
split off phrasal verb
1 . ( also split away ) if one part of something splits off from the rest, it becomes completely separate from it
split off from
A huge lump of rock had split off from the cliff face.
2 . ( also split away ) if a small group of people split off from a larger group, they become separate from it
split off from
The group split away from the Green Party and formed the Environmental Alliance.
3 . split something ↔ off to separate one part of something and make it completely separate from the rest
split something ↔ off from
This part of the business has now been split off from the main company.
split on somebody phrasal verb British English informal
to tell someone in authority about something wrong that someone else has done:
Don’t you dare split on us!
split up phrasal verb
1 . if people split up, or if someone splits them up, they end a marriage or relationship with each other:
Steve’s parents split up when he was four.
split up with
I thought she’d split up with her boyfriend.
split somebody ↔ up
Why would she try to split us up?
2 . to divide people into different groups, or to be divided into groups:
Please don’t split up when we get to the museum.
split something/somebody ↔ up
The teacher split up the class into three groups.
3 . split something ↔ up to divide something into different parts
split something ↔ up into
The house has now been split up into individual flats.
II. split 2 BrE AmE noun [countable]
1 . TEAR a tear or crack in something made of cloth, wood etc
a long split in the sleeve of his coat
2 . DISAGREEMENT a serious disagreement that divides an organization or group of people into smaller groups SYN rift
The argument could lead to a damaging split in the party.
a deep split within the government
a split between the radicals and the moderates within the group
The union is desperate to avoid a split over this issue.
3 . END OF RELATIONSHIP informal the end of a marriage or relationship - used especially in newspapers and magazines:
rumours of a marriage split
She seems to be getting over her recent split with her fiancé.
4 . DIVIDING SOMETHING the way in which something, especially money, is shared between several people:
In a publishing deal, the average split used to be 50:50 between writer and publisher.
three-way/four-way etc split (=when something is shared equally between three, four etc people)
a three-way split in the profits
5 . SEPARATION informal a clear separation or difference between two things
the traditional split between the state and church
6 . do the splits to spread your legs wide apart so that your legs touch the floor along their whole length