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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 ?
These pages provide information on the specific protocols that govern each area, background on the pollution source and the problems it can cause, and details about how the treaties came about.
Self-stimulation by pressure can work wonders when we understand the systems that each energy meridian governs and how to choose the most effective acu-points.
Sanjiao governs the chemical messages that control all organs and is also responsible for growths (so-called tumors, nodules, warts, moles).
However, if we continue to neglect our Kidneys, worrying and not giving her enough water, she begins to drop more and more of her responsibilities--memory, hearing, sexual function, and eventually life itself, as the Kidneys govern the length of our lives.
As banks have been expanding the level of securities services they make available to their customers, attention is being focused again on the express exemptions the Congress has provided for banks from the framework in the securities laws that govern nonbank securities firms.
The federal banking agencies concluded this review and update in February and jointly issued uniform guidelines that govern the sale of nondeposit investment products on bank premises, including mutual funds and other securities.
In general, definitions can be divided into two categories, those governed by Sec.
* The basic definition for allocating contributions and forfeitures or calculating accrued benefits: In theory, this definition is not governed by Sec.
Many developing countries refused to discuss an international framework to govern investment until their negotiators had achieved common ground with the developed nations on agriculture.
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.
Second, international investment is already governed by a system of rules at the bilateral and multilateral level that provides basic stability and clarifies the rights and responsibilities of investors and states.
If a state does not adopt UETA or another law, the provisions of ESIGN will govern. ESIGN prohibits a state from refusing to enforce an electronic contract solely because of an electronic format or because a contract is signed using an electronic signature.