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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Gradually I adjusted to the inner schism.
▪ However, an anticipated schism in party ranks failed to materialize.
▪ In 1827, a fierce schism had shaken the Quaker community.
▪ Much of the blame for the schism is generally attributed to Nikon, the overbearing prelate elevated to the Patriarchate in 1652.
▪ The issues on which the schism turned have often seemed to Western scholars so insignificant as to be almost laughable.
▪ This second founding congress, however, was marred by an immediate schism.
▪ Wherever pentecostalism goes it evokes both joy and anger, gratitude and rejection, polemic 77 and schism.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Schism \Schism\, n. [OE. scisme, OF. cisme, scisme, F. schisme, L. schisma, Gr. schi`sma, fr. schi`zein to split; akin to L. scindere, Skr. chid, and prob. to E. shed, v.t. (which see); cf. Rescind, Schedule, Zest.] Division or separation; specifically (Eccl.), permanent division or separation in the Christian church; breach of unity among people of the same religious faith; the offense of seeking to produce division in a church without justifiable cause.

Set bounds to our passions by reason, to our errors by truth, and to our schisms by charity.
--Eikon Basilike.

Greek schism (Eccl.), the separation of the Greek and Roman churches.

Great schism, or Western schism (Eccl.) a schism in the Roman church in the latter part of the 14th century, on account of rival claimants to the papal throne.

Schism act (Law), an act of the English Parliament requiring all teachers to conform to the Established Church, -- passed in 1714, repealed in 1719.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., scisme, "dissention within the church," from Old French scisme, cisme "a cleft, split" (12c.), from Church Latin schisma, from Greek skhisma (genitive skhismatos) "division, cleft," in New Testament applied metaphorically to divisions in the Church (I Cor. xii.25), from stem of skhizein "to split" (see shed (v.)). Spelling restored 16c., but pronunciation unchanged. Often in reference to the Great Schism (1378-1417) in the Western Church.


n. 1 A split or separation within a group or organization, typically caused by discord. 2 (context religion English) A formal division or split within a religious body. 3 (context Catholicism English) a split within Christianity whereby a group no longer recognizes the Bishop of Rome as the head of the church, but shares essentially the same beliefs with the Church of Rome. In other words, a political split without the introduction of heresy.


n. division of a group into opposing factions; "another schism like that and they will wind up in bankruptcy" [syn: split]

Schism (disambiguation)

A schism is a division between people, usually belonging to an organization, movement, or religious denomination.

Schism may also refer to:

Schism (song)

"Schism" is a song by American rock band Tool. It was the first single and music video from their third full-length album, Lateralus. In 2002, Tool won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for the song. "Schism" was released as a DVD single on December 20, 2005. The DVD contains the music video, dual-commentary by David Yow, and a remix by Lustmord.

Schism (novel)

Schism is a novel in the Saga of the Skolian Empire, a series of science fiction books by Catherine Asaro. It was first published in 2004.


A schism (pronounced , or, less commonly, ) is a division between people, usually belonging to an organization, movement, or religious denomination. The word is most frequently applied to a split in what had previously been a single religious body, such as the East–West Schism or the Great Western Schism. It is also used of a split within a non-religious organization or movement or, more broadly, of a separation between two or more people, be it brothers, friends, lovers, etc.

A schismatic is a person who creates or incites schism in an organization or who is a member of a splinter group. Schismatic as an adjective means pertaining to a schism or schisms, or to those ideas, policies, etc. that are thought to lead towards or promote schism.

In religion, the charge of schism is distinguished from that of heresy, since the offence of schism concerns not differences of belief or doctrine but promotion of, or the state of, division. However, schisms frequently involve mutual accusations of heresy. In Roman Catholic teaching, every heresy is a schism, while there may be some schisms free of the added guilt of heresy. Liberal Protestantism, however, has often preferred heresy over schism. Presbyterian scholar James I. McCord (quoted with approval by the Episcopalian bishop of Virginia Peter Lee) drew a distinction between them, teaching: "If you must make a choice between heresy and schism, always choose heresy. As a schismatic, you have torn and divided the body of Christ. Choose heresy every time."

Usage examples of "schism".

Great Schism in 1749, at the end of the War of the Faces, there were fifty Architect sects.

Cat Lady that there were only two classes, the exploiters and the exploitees, but the enormous difference in wealth did seem at the heart of the social schism.

Further, anyone who did not actively aid in ending the schism was morally guilty of prolonging it.

This dangerous honor was declined by the more prudent successor of Gregory, who alleged the schism of the church, and the duties of his pastoral office, recommending to the faithful, who were disqualified by sex or profession, by age or infirmity, to aid, with their prayers and alms, the personal service of their robust brethren.

By the building of churches and other edifices for sectarian uses, schism was established for coming time as a vested interest.

It would make it possible to be rid of the friction and sometimes the clash of much useless and expensive machinery, and to extinguish many local schisms that had been engendered by the zeal of some central sectarian propaganda.

And that one of the terms of the settlement that ended the schism was that the new Pope, now of holy memory, would ratify the elevation of all these cardinals, no matter which claimant had made the appointments.

As long as the papal exile from New Rome continues, surrounded as it is by Texark forces, the enemies of the Valana papacy hope for a renewal of schism, and they keep all possible gossip alive.

The schism of the Donatists was confined to Africa: the more diffusive mischief of the Trinitarian controversy successively penetrated into every part of the Christian world.

Compared to this irreparable disintegration of the empire, temporary schisms such as the Omayyad Khalifate in Spain, the Fatimid Khalifate in Egypt, and here and there an independent organization of the Kharijites were of little significance.

Wilfrid, bishop of Lindisferne, acquired great merit, both with the court of Rome and with all the southern Saxons, by expelling the quartodeciman schism, as it was called, from the Northumbrian kingdom, into which the neighborhood of the Scots had formerly introduced it.

They recolor the personality and conflict of a mythic figure, whose seventeenth-century clash with Catholic doctrine continues to define the schism between science and religion.

In his time, the schism had been between those who wanted to study the Amarantin and those who wanted to terraform Resurgam, thereby establishing the world as a viable human colony rather than a temporary research outpost.

False Christs are such as pretend to be the Christ, but are not, and are called properly Antichrists, in such sense as when there happeneth a schism in the Church by the election of two Popes, the one the one calleth the other Antipapa, or the false Pope.

There had been the monologue-there was no other word to describe it--on the correct preparation of "Tex-Mex chili" ("whatever that is," Arrhae heard from the Praetorate benches behind her), together with a vituperative diatribe against those heretics ("ah, religious schism.