AskDefine | Define schism

The Collaborative 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. [1913 Webster] Set bounds to our passions by reason, to our errors by truth, and to our schisms by charity. --Eikon Basilike. [1913 Webster] 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(Law), an act of the English Parliament requiring all teachers to conform to the Established Church, -- passed in 1714, repealed in
[1913 Webster]

Word Net

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



From (schisma) "division" < (schizō) "I split"


  • /ˈskɪzəm/ or /ˈsɪzəm/


  1. A split or separation within a group or organization, typically caused by discord.
  2. A formal division or split within a religious body.
  3. In the context of "Catholicism": 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.


Related terms


split, division, separation, discord
division within a religious body
  • Greek: σχίσμα
  • Spanish: cisma
split within Christianity
  • Greek: σχίσμα
  • Portuguese: cisma
  • Spanish: cisma
Schism or schisms may refer to:
In religion:
  • Schism (religion), a division or a split
  • East-West Schism or The Great Schism, the split between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church in the eleventh century
In popular culture:
  • "Schisms" (TNG episode), a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode
  • Schism (VFD), an event which occurred within the fictional V.F.D. organization in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Schism (novel), a novel by Catherine Asaro regarding the Saga of the Skolian Empire
In music:
In sport:
  • The Schism, the disagreement that lead to the split between rugby league and rugby union over the issue of "broken time" payments

See also

schism in Czech: Schizma
schism in Danish: Skisma
schism in German: Schisma
schism in Modern Greek (1453-): Σχίσμα
schism in Spanish: Cisma
schism in Esperanto: Skismo
schism in French: Grand Schisme
schism in Indonesian: Skisma
schism in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Schisma
schism in Italian: Scisma
schism in Latin: Schisma
schism in Lithuanian: Schizma
schism in Dutch: Schisma
schism in Polish: Schizma
schism in Portuguese: Cisma
schism in Russian: Схизма
it was also a group of people at war.
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