divide and rule


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Related to divide and rule: Divide and conquer

divide and rule (or conquer)

the policy of maintaining supremacy over your opponents by encouraging dissent between them, thereby preventing them from uniting against you.
This is a maxim associated with a number of rulers, and is found in Latin as divide et impera and in German as entzwei und gebiete . Since the early 17th century, English writers have often wrongly attributed it to the Italian political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli ( 1469–1527 ).
See also: and, divide, rule

diˌvide and ˈrule

keep control over people by making them disagree with and fight each other, therefore not giving them the chance to unite and oppose you together: a policy of divide and rule
See also: and, divide, rule