c. 1400, particioun, "division into shares, distinction," from Old French particion (12c.), from Latin partitionem (nominative partitio) "a sharing, division, partition, distribution; method of dividing," from past participle stem of partire "to part, divide," from pars "a part, piece, a share" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot"). Sense of "that which separates" is recorded from late 15c. Meaning "act of parting or dividing, state of being divided" is from c. 1500.
1560s, from Italian squadrone, augmentative of squadra "battalion," literally "square" (see squad). As a division of a fleet, from 1580s, of an air force, 1912.
1791, "pertaining to a (French) department, pertaining to a division of a country," from French départmental, from département (see department). Meaning "of departmental systems generally" from 1832. Related: Departmentally.
also Clutie, "the devil," 1785, Scottish, literally "hoofed," from cloot "hoof, division of a hoof" (1725), which is of uncertain origin, perhaps from a dialectal survival of Old Norse klo "claw" (see claw (n.)).
country in Southeast Asia, from Vietnamese Viet, the people's name + nam "south." Division into North and South lasted from 1954 to 1976. Vietnam War attested by 1963.
division of certain English counties (equivalent to a hundred in other places), Old English wæpengetæc "division of a riding," from Old Norse vapnatak, from vapna, genitive plural of vapn "weapon" (see weapon) + tak "a touching, a taking hold, a grasping," from taka "to take, grasp," from Proto-Germanic *tak- (see take (v.)). Perhaps it originally was an armed muster with inspection of weapons, or else an assembly where consent was expressed by brandishing swords and spears.