Division vs. Divide


Senior Member
Hi, I need to know if the terms "division" and "divide" are interchangeable or not when they both mean "conflict that divides".

Here there are some sentences I got from a dictionary to make a test:

Is "divide" interchangeable with "division" in the following sentences?:

a)-‘The key divide in Australian politics is now clear'

b)-‘The combined effects of disenfranchisement laws, inmate population trends and economic realities perpetuate a racial divide in society'

c)-‘Whether or not the north-south divide exists, it is perpetuated through the media.’

d)-‘Secondly, by encouraging a drinking culture in younger people, the divide between young and old only widens.'

Is "division" interchangeable with "divide" in the following sentences?:

a)-‘This election has uncovered a vast cultural division between Americans, but what is the cause?’

b)-‘It has created disunity and division between people.’

c)-‘The government is trying to reinforce the old class divisions in society.’

d)-‘Socialism depends on workers overcoming the divisions within their own ranks.’
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    In the first group, 'divide' could be replaced by 'division'. (However, in c 'the north-south divide' is pretty much a fixed expression.)

    However, the reverse is not true for the second group. We speak only of 'a divide' (think of two mountain ranges with a large valley between them), so we don't speak of plural 'divides' (ruling out c and d), nor 'divide' abstractly (ruling out b). Only a) could possibly have 'divide'.


    Senior Member
    British English
    'Divide' (noun) in this sort of context emphasises the dividing line that separates the two 'things'.

    'Division' in this sort of context can be used to refer to one or more of the separate parts, or the activity/occurrence of their separation.

    The division [not divide] of Germany into two countries occurred in the 1940s and lasted until reunification in...
    The Seventh Army has eight divisions [ not divides].


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I would note that "devide" is both a noun and a verb; "division" is a noun. So they cannot be 100% interchangeable.
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