"to divide (up)," 1877, American English, originally a noun (1865), a slang shortening of dividend. The verb is primary now (the noun is not in "Webster's New World Dictionary"), leading some (such as "Webster's") to think the word is a slang alteration of divide. Related: Divvying. In early 20c. British slang the same word was a shortening of divine (adj.).
updated on September 11, 2018