split people up

split up

1. To separate or divide into two or more pieces, groups, sets, etc. We'll find them faster if we all split up. The polar ice caps are going to start splitting up if global temperatures continue to rise.
2. To cause something or a group to separate or divide into two or more smaller pieces, groups, sets, etc. A noun or pronoun can be used between "split" and "up." Take this axe and go split those logs up into firewood. The teacher split up the class to work on the project in groups.
3. To end a romantic relationship with someone else. My parents split up when I was only five years old. Mary says that she split up with Sarah, but they've had such an off-again-on-again relationship that none of us is surprised anymore.
4. To cause a romantic couple to end their relationship. A noun or pronoun can be used between "split" and "up." My mom's gambling issues very nearly split up her marriage, but she got counseling and they're still together to this day. Tommy's been conniving to split Jenny and Phil up because he's still madly in love with her.
See also: split, up

split people up

to separate two or more people (from one another). If you two don't stop chattering, I'll have to split you up. I will have to split up that twosome in the corner.
See also: people, split, up