Etymology
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division (n.)

late 14c., divisioun, "act of separating into parts, portions, or shares; a part separated or distinguished from the rest; state of being at variance in sentiment or interest," from Old French division and directly from Latin divisionem (nominative divisio), noun of action from past-participle stem of dividere "to divide" (see divide (v.)).

Military sense "portion of an army, fleet, or ship's company" is from 1590s. Mathematical sense of "operation inverse to multiplication" is from late 14c. The mathematical division sign supposedly was invented by British mathematician John Pell (1611-1685) who taught at Cambridge and Amsterdam.

updated on September 10, 2018

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Definitions of division from WordNet

division (n.)
an army unit large enough to sustain combat;
two infantry divisions were held in reserve
division (n.)
one of the portions into which something is regarded as divided and which together constitute a whole;
the BBC's engineering division
Synonyms: part / section
division (n.)
the act or process of dividing;
division (n.)
an administrative unit in government or business;
division (n.)
discord that splits a group;
Synonyms: variance
division (n.)
a league ranked by quality;
Synonyms: class
division (n.)
(biology) a group of organisms forming a subdivision of a larger category;
division (n.)
(botany) taxonomic unit of plants corresponding to a phylum;
division (n.)
a unit of the United States Air Force usually comprising two or more wings;
Synonyms: air division
division (n.)
a group of ships of similar type;
Synonyms: naval division
division (n.)
an arithmetic operation that is the inverse of multiplication; the quotient of two numbers is computed;
division (n.)
the act of dividing or partitioning; separation by the creation of a boundary that divides or keeps apart;
Synonyms: partition / partitioning / segmentation / sectionalization / sectionalisation
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.