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Related to schism: Great Schism
1. A separation or division into factions: "[He] found it increasingly difficult to maintain party unity in the face of ideological schism over civil rights" (Nick Kotz).
a. A formal breach of union within a religious body, especially a Christian church.
b. The offense of attempting to produce such a breach.
[Middle English scisme, from Old French, from Latin schisma, schismat-, from Greek skhisma, from skhizein, to split; see skei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: The word schism, originally spelled scisme, cisme, and sisme in English, was formerly pronounced (sĭz′əm), without a (k) sound, as if it were etymologically related to scissors. (It isn't, or at least not in any straightforward way; see the Word History below.) The modern spelling with the h dates to the 1500s, when the word was respelled to resemble its Latin and Greek ancestors. The pronunciation with (k), (skĭz′əm), was once regarded as incorrect, but over the decades it has gained acceptability to the point where it now predominates in standard American usage. In our 2016 survey, 82 percent of the Usage Panel indicated that they use (skĭz′əm), while 14 percent said they use (sĭz′əm). A third pronunciation, (shĭz′əm), was preferred by just 4 percent. In 1997, the figures were 61 percent, 31 percent, and 8 percent, respectively, indicating that (skĭz′əm) may one day be the word's only common pronunciation.
Word History: Though scissors is technically not cognate with schism, its current spelling is influenced by the unrelated classical Latin word scissor, which meant "cutter." And that scissor was formed from sciss-, the past participle stem of scindō ("to split/cleave/cut/tear apart"), which was indeed cognate with schism.
1. the division of a group into opposing factions
2. the factions so formed
3. (Ecclesiastical Terms) division within or separation from an established Church, esp the Roman Catholic Church, not necessarily involving differences in doctrine
[C14: from Church Latin schisma, from Greek skhisma a cleft, from skhizein to split]
schism(ˈsɪz əm, ˈskɪz-)
1. division or disunion, esp. into mutually opposed parties.
2. the parties so formed.
a. a formal division within, or separation from, a church or religious body over some doctrinal difference.
b. the state of a sect or body formed by such division.
c. the offense of causing or seeking to cause such a division.
[1350–1400; < Middle French < Late Latin (Vulgate) sc(h)isma (s. sc(h)ismat-) < Greek, derivative of schízein to split, with -ma n. suffix of result]
a division especially peculiar to a Christian church or a religious body. — schismatic, n. — schismatical, adj.See also: Religion
1054, the formal separation between the Orthodox (eastern) and the Roman Catholic (western) Churches.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||schism - division of a group into opposing factions; "another schism like that and they will wind up in bankruptcy"|
division - the act or process of dividing
|2.||schism - the formal separation of a church into two churches or the withdrawal of one group over doctrinal differences|
1. An interruption in friendly relations:
2. A state of disagreement and disharmony: