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divide and conquer

1. To gain or maintain power by generating tension among others, especially 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 ?
MS Govern is a best of breed software provider that has helped more than 400 public sector organizations throughout North America succeed for the past 30 years.
This treaty governs accidental and operational oil pollution as well as pollution by chemicals, packaged goods, sewage, garbage, and air pollution.
But the rules that governed the behavior of these archaic humans were mostly instinctive, not learned.
Each of the twelve different energy meridians governs a set of responsibilities (see sidebar), and these meridians function just as we do in daily life.
Some economists, policymakers, and business leaders argue that creation of an international set of rules to govern international investment would facilitate global economic efficiency, just as the GATT/WTO system spurred trade.
If we believe in the democratic principle of allowing the governed to participate in the governing process, how do we exclude the voices of six million athletes in the policies directly affecting their lives?
With the flexibility and capabilities of the Govern Software, we found the right solution to help us streamline and manage the Sales Tax process.
The English have not been able to govern themselves properly since they were absorbed into the Norman Empire in 1066 and with so many people leaving England it could concentrate on making England an acceptable place to live for everybody instead of the few.
(10) This proposal significantly expanded the definition of tax shelter opinions governed by Circular 230.
The high number of takes implies that fixing the state's problems will not come as easily as making a movie, and that Governor Schwarzenegger lacks the proper experience needed to govern.
(i) Govern the submission of bids and offers by buyers and sellers that use the finder service and the circumstances under which the finder service will match bids and offers submitted by buyers and sellers; and
Now that budgets have dried up, democratically elected governments are squeezed by the dictates of courts that had the luxury of protecting a class of children while willfully ignoring the fiscal and political realities by which democratically elected legislatures must govern. The court's balance of interest was cemented; the ground beneath it has now shifted significantly.
Louis, MO, May 07, 2010 --(PR.com)-- Long time MS Govern customer, St.
The FIA is paid to govern the sport not manage the teams.
Throughout history, when the populace allows those who govern too much power, the governors will oppress the governed.