Something that separates.

One example is religion, another is music. My favorite is mountain ranges. Something that has many parameters that can be varied to a large degree will often divide people and things. Is this bad? Depends on your perspective.

Without divisions there would be no competition, and there would be no change. Competition comes about because of the small diffenences that divide us. Some divisions of society will be successful and should think separation is good. Others will not and they should think separation is bad. Oddly, what they really think is the opposite of this.

KANJI: BUN FUN BU (divide, minute, understand)

ASCII Art Representation:

              %%,,          %%
              %%%%%%        %%
             %%%%%%         %%
             %%%%%           %%
            ,%%%%"           %%%
            %%%%"             %%%,
           %%%%%               %%%%,
          %%%%"                 "%%%%,
         %%%%"                    "%%%%%,,
       ,%%%"                     ,%, "%%%%%%%%%%
     ,%%%""%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%  "%%%%%%%"
  ,,%%%"          %%%%          %%%%     "%%%%"
%%%%"             %%%%          %%%%
                  %%%%          %%%%
                  %%%%          %%%%
                 %%%%"          %%%%
                 %%%%           %%%%
                ,%%%            %%%%
                %%%"            %%%%
               %%%              %%%%
             ,%%%              ,%%%%
           ,%%%"              ,%%%%
        ,,%%""           "%%%%%%%%
    %%%%""                 "%%%%"

Character Etymology:

The top-most part of this character represents split while the bottom radical represents sword/cut, giving a meaning of cut and split and hence to divide. This lead to numerous other associated meanings, such as fraction, minute (now of time, but originally meaning small portion in similar fashion to the English term), and understand (as in something which is able to be divided/broken down).

A Listing of All On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi Readings:

on-yomi: BUN FUN BU
kun-yomi: wa(keru) wa(ke) wa(kareru) wa(karu) wa(katsu) ita wake

Nanori Readings:

Nanori: ita wake

English Definitions:

  1. BUN: dividing part, segment; share; ration; rate; degree; one's status; relation; duty; kind, lot.
  2. FUN: a minute of time; one sixteenth of a degree; one-tenth of a momme.
  3. BU: rate, part, percentage; one-percent; thickness; odds; one-tenth of a shaku; one quarter of a ryou.
  4. wa(karu): understand, comprehend; know; appreciate; be announced; recognize.
  5. wa(keru): divide, split, separate; isolate; distribute; distinguish; spare.
  6. wa(katsu): divide, separate; share with.
  7. wa(kazu): without differentiation.
  8. wa(kare): branch, fork; division, section; farewell.
  9. wa(kareru)(: branch off, diverge from, fork; split; be divided; part with; be divorced; bid farewell; break up, disperse, scatter.
  10. wa(kari): understanding, comprehension.
  11. wa(ke): sharing, division; draw, tie.
  12. wa(kachi): distinction, differentiation, discrimination.
  13. bun-: branch, detached.

Character Index Numbers:

New Nelson: 454
Henshall: 199

Unicode Encoded Version:

Unicode Encoded Compound Examples:

(bunshi): molecule.
(ippun): one minute.
(ichibu): one tenth (confusing!)
(bun'shitsu): detached room.


  Previous: wind  |  Japanese Kanji  |  Next: hear

Di*vide" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Divided; p. pr. & vb. n. Dividing.] [L. dividere, divisum; di- = dis- + root signifying to part; cf. Skr. vyadh to pierce; perh. akin to L. vidua widow, and E. widow. Cf. Device, Devise.]


To part asunder (a whole); to sever into two or more parts or pieces; to sunder; to separate into parts.

Divide the living child in two. 1 Kings iii. 25.


To cause to be separate; to keep apart by a partition, or by an imaginary line or limit; as, a wall divides two houses; a stream divides the towns.

Let it divide the waters from the waters. Gen. i. 6.


To make partition of among a number; to apportion, as profits of stock among proprietors; to give in shares; to distribute; to mete out; to share.

True justice unto people to divide. Spenser.

Ye shall divide the land by lot. Num. xxxiii. 54.


To disunite in opinion or interest; to make discordant or hostile; to set at variance.

If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom can not stand. Mark iii. 24.

Every family became now divided within itself. Prescott.


To separate into two parts, in order to ascertain the votes for and against a measure; as, to divide a legislative house upon a question.

6. Math.

To subject to arithmetical division.

7. Logic

To separate into species; -- said of a genus or generic term.

8. Mech.

To mark divisions on; to graduate; as, to divide a sextant.

9. Music

To play or sing in a florid style, or with variations.



Syn. -- To sever; dissever; sunder; cleave; disjoin; disunite; detach; disconnect; part; distribute; share.


© Webster 1913.

Di*vide", v. i.


To be separated; to part; to open; to go asunder.


The Indo-Germanic family divides into three groups. J. Peile.


To cause separation; to disunite.

A gulf, a strait, the sea intervening between islands, divide less than the matted forest. Bancroft.


To break friendship; to fall out.



To have a share; to partake.



To vote, as in the British Parliament, by the members separating themselves into two parties (as on opposite sides of the hall or in opposite lobbies), that is, the ayes dividing from the noes.

The emperors sat, voted, and divided with their equals. Gibbon.


© Webster 1913.

Di*vide", n.

A dividing ridge of land between the tributaries of two streams; a watershed.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.