The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Split \Split\ (spl[i^]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Split
(Splitted, R.); p. pr. & vb. n. Splitting.] [Probably of
Scand. or Low German origin; cf. Dan. splitte, LG. splitten,
OD. splitten, spletten, D. splijten, G. spleissen, MHG.
spl[imac]zen. Cf. Splice, Splint, Splinter.]
1. To divide lengthwise; to separate from end to end, esp. by
force; to divide in the direction of the grain or layers;
to rive; to cleave; as, to split a piece of timber or a
board; to split a gem; to split a sheepskin.
Cold winter split the rocks in twain. --Dryden.
2. To burst; to rupture; to rend; to tear asunder.
A huge vessel of exceeding hard marble split asunder
by congealed water. --Boyle.
3. To divide or break up into parts or divisions, as by
discord; to separate into parts or parties, as a political
party; to disunite. [Colloq.] --South.
4. (Chem.) To divide or separate into components; -- often
used with up; as, to split up sugar into alcohol and
To split hairs, to make distinctions of useless nicety.