AskDefine | Define partition

Dictionary Definition



1 a vertical structure that divides or separates (as a wall divides one room from another) [syn: divider]
2 the act of dividing or partitioning; separation by the creation of a boundary that divides or keeps apart [syn: division, partitioning, segmentation, sectionalization, sectionalisation]
3 (computer science) the part of a hard disk that is dedicated to a particular operating system or application and accessed as a single unit


1 divide into parts, pieces, or sections; "The Arab peninsula was partitioned by the British" [syn: partition off]
2 separate or apportion into sections; "partition a room off" [syn: zone]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Something that divides a thing into parts, or separates one thing from another, especially a vertical structure that divides a room.
  2. A part of something that had been divided.
  3. The division of a country into two or more autonomous countries.
  4. A section of a hard disk separately formatted.
  5. A collection of non-empty, disjoint subsets of a set whose union is the set itself (i.e. all elements of the set are contained in exactly one of the subsets).

Usage notes

  • sense set theory The elements of the collection are sometimes called the blocks or parts of the partition.

Derived terms


section of a hard disk separately formatted
collection of non-empty, disjoint subsets of a set


  1. To divide something into parts, sections or shares
  2. To divide a region or country into two or more territories with separate political status
  3. To separate or divide a room by a partition (ex. a wall), often use with off

Extensive Definition

Generally, a partition is a splitting of something into parts. The term is used in a variety of senses:



  • Partition (law), to divide up a piece of land into separate portions representing the proportionate interests of the tenants. It may also consist of dividing a property with common ownership into identifiable individual ownership



  • List of partition topics
  • Partition of a set, a collection of non-empty subsets such that every element belongs to one and only one of the subsets
  • Partition (number theory), a way to write a positive integer as a sum of other positive integers; the partition function gives the number of different ways to partition a number
  • Multiplicative partition, a way to write an integer greater than 1 as a product of other integers that are also greater than 1.
  • Partition problem, an NP-complete problem: given a set of integers, can the set be partitioned into two subsets with equal sums?
  • A partition of unity is a set of functions whose sum is the constant function
  • Partition of an interval, used in the theory of the Riemann integral and the Riemann-Stieltjes integral


  • Partition (music) — a method of creating segments from sets when the twelve-tone technique is used

Political geography

Notable examples are:


partition in German: Partition
partition in Spanish: Partición
partition in French: Partition
partition in Hebrew: מחיצה
partition in Italian: Partizione
partition in Hungarian: Partíció (egyértelműsítő)
partition in Dutch: Partitie
partition in Chinese: 分割

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abstraction, alienation, allotment, apportion, apportioning, apportionment, area, barrier, bisector, booth, boundary, brattice, breaking up, budgeting, buffer, buffer state, bulkhead, bumper, carve, carve up, cell, chamber, cloison, collision mat, compartment, cushion, cut, cut up, cutting, cutting the pie, deal, detachment, diameter, diaphragm, disarticulation, disassociation, disburse, disconnectedness, disconnection, discontinuity, disengagement, disjointing, disjunction, dislocation, dispense, disperse, dissepiment, dissolution, distribution, district, disunion, divide, divide into shares, divide up, divide with, divider, dividing, dividing line, dividing wall, division, divorce, divorcement, divvy, divvy up, dole out, doling out, equator, fence off, fender, halfway mark, incoherence, interseptum, isolation, line of demarcation, luxation, mat, measure out, meting out, midriff, midsection, pad, panel, parcel, parcel out, parceling, paries, part, parting, partitioning, party wall, portion, portioning, property line, rationing, removal, repartition, room, rupture, screen, section, segment, segmentation, segmenting, separate, separation, separatism, separator, septulum, septum, set apart, share, share out, share with, sharing, sharing out, shock pad, slice, slice the pie, slice up, slicing, split, split up, split-up, splitting, stall, subdivide, subdivision, subtraction, wall, wall off, withdrawal, zone, zoning
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