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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 govern

To gain or maintain power by fomenting discord among people so that they do not unite in opposition. Sometimes used as a modifier before a noun. The despot held onto power by dividing and governing, keeping any would-be opponents fractured and powerless through effective disinformation campaigns. The extremist faction has taken a distinct divide-and-govern approach. They turned the other parties against each other, giving them the chance to rise to power.
See also: and, divide, govern

divide and rule

To gain or maintain power by fomenting discord among people so that they do not unite in opposition. The ascendancy of the faction occurred because they were able to divide and rule—they fooled the other parties into fighting while they rose to power.
See also: and, divide, rule
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

divide and conquer


divide and rule

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Accounting and the construction of the governable person.
Transparency projects create particular visibilities and possibilities for observation that make some parts of organizational and social life knowable and governable, but they also keep others inaccessible and out of sight (Flyverbom, 2015).
It may be that of all the disputes among conservatives, indeed among political thinkers generally, this is the one that cuts deepest: does one acknowledge that not every society is governable? Are the worst and ultimate problems of governance not amenable to government solution?
We can therefore understand the changes in the ways that the police construct the drug scene in Vesterbro as a governable space as changes in the ways in which they exercise territoriality defined by Sack (1983) as "the attempt to affect, or control actions, interactions, or access by asserting and attempting to enforce control over a specific geographical area" (p.
"Hopefully they will vote in favor of giving confidence to a team of serious technocrats, without giving too much importance to frivolous anecdotes that don't make a country governable. These events should not be allowed to jeopardize the continuity of the nation," said Confiep president Alfonso Garcia Mir.
People today are far less civil and less governable. The last few years have been incredibly hard for me.
The question is, how governable is a society without norms?
That's a structural problem with congressional districts that makes America less governable.
It's just not governable. It is my personal view...
He claims that Middle Eastern dynasties from the late thirteenth to the early sixteenth century supported Sufi brotherhoods, which rendered these societies governable with minimal political administration.
Experts say the higher output of renewable producers coupled with falling demand have contributed to the price reduction.The RWEA president said the recent decision confirms the statement of European Commissioner of Energy, Guenther Oettinger, who recently commented that 'Romania is barely governable'.
The restructuring regulations taking effect with the establishment of the Ministry of Imperial Waqfs in 1826 is pivotal in his examination for he argued that "accounting was a technique in the hands of the Ottoman government that facilitated the translation of imperial objectives of the 1826 regulation into practice, the formation of the waqf in tune with government's desired outcomes, and the construction of governable bodies, as well as providing a controlling device from a distance." [2011, p.
I would propose that the constitution be put aside for some time and Caretaker Governor be given public support to quell the insecurity till pocket of residence conform to law and order and the state to be set at governable state.
standing at the center of each governable space is a community contradiction.
Two issues should be major additions to the agenda of every boardroom in America: How public trust in capitalism itself can be restored; and is America truly governable?