divide and conquer


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divide and conquer

1. To gain or maintain power by generating tension among others, epecially those less powerful, so that they cannot unite in opposition. Rachel is so popular because she divides and conquers all of her minions and makes sure they all dislike each other.
2. To accomplish something by having several people work on it separately and simultaneously. The only way we'll ever get this project finished on time is if we divide and conquer. I'll put the slides together while you type up the hand-out.
See also: and, conquer, divide

divide and conquer

Also, divide and govern or rule . Win by getting one's opponents to fight among themselves. For example, Divide and conquer was once a very successful policy in sub-Saharan Africa. This expression is a translation of the Latin maxim, Divide et impera ("divide and rule"), and began to appear in English about 1600.
See also: and, conquer, divide

divide and conquer

BRITISH & AMERICAN or

divide and rule

BRITISH
COMMON If you try to divide and conquer or divide and rule, you try to keep control over a group of people by encouraging them to argue amongst themselves. Trade unions are concerned that management may be tempted into a policy of divide and rule. The Summit sends a very strong message to him that he's not going to divide and conquer. Note: This expression has its origin in the Latin phrase `divide et impera'. It describes one of the tactics which the Romans used to rule their empire.
See also: and, conquer, divide

divide and conquer/rule/govern, to

To win by getting one’s opponents to fight among themselves. This strategy not only was discovered to be effective in wartime by the most ancient of adversaries, but was also applied to less concrete affairs by Jesus: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matthew 12:25). The exact term is a translation of a Roman maxim, divide et impera (divide and rule).
See also: and, conquer, divide, rule
References in periodicals archive ?
The government should stop using taxpayers' money to divide and conquer us.
Thick hair is normally hard to whip up, so divide and conquer!
The Tate Gallery has become something of a British Guggenheim in its ambitions: Divide and conquer. Though less globe-trotting than its American colleague, the Tate's four showplaces now boast some 350,000 square feet of exhibition space in which to display the museum's collection of more than 60,000 works.
In a comment widely read as favorable to Caldera Inc in its own antitrust trial against Microsoft Corp, US District Judge Dee Benson has observed that Microsoft's "divide and conquer" approach to Caldera's case "may be arguably improper." Microsoft has split up into nine separate issues the two questions Caldera wants to put to the jury.
prison system; inmates perform 'outsourced' work often at less than the minimum wage; impoverished white working-class rural areas become economically dependent upon the incarcerations of largely African American, Latino, and Native American populations; and this development is justified by a rhetoric of 'getting tough on crime,' although in reality it reveals that the capitalist system cannot provide full employment at a living wage and that it promotes a politics of divide and conquer....
Tinberg is to divide and conquer. Let us hear more from you on both topics.