Definition of divide and conquer (or rule) in English:

divide and conquer (or rule)


  • The policy of maintaining control over one's subordinates or subjects by encouraging dissent between them.

    • ‘The partition plan flowed from Britain's policy of divide and rule.’
    • ‘It was playing the old bosses' game of divide and rule to prevent workers' full power being unleashed.’
    • ‘As a result of early colonial policies of divide and conquer, the regional governments tended to be drawn along ethnic lines.’
    • ‘A key way occupying powers keep control in such circumstances is by divide and rule.’
    • ‘Our opposition has a platform that can be equated to divide and conquer - at all costs, keep people apart, unwilling to learn from one another.’
    • ‘Ethnic and tribal struggles among the seven million residents have been exploited by those pursuing tactics of divide and rule, inciting one group against the other, observers say.’
    • ‘He is someone who has always governed on the basis of divide and rule.’
    • ‘There are those in the British ruling classes who wish to maintain their power and privilege by using the age-old tactic of divide and rule.’
    • ‘Once again, the administration strategy appears to be divide and conquer.’
    • ‘They understand the concept of divide and conquer.’