Dividends paid or total dividends paid refers to the sum of all cash payments made by a company to its shareholders as a distribution of profits. Dividends are typically paid out on a regular basis, such as quarterly or annually, and are based on the number of shares that an investor owns.

The amount of dividends paid can vary depending on a company's financial performance and its decision to distribute profits to shareholders.

**Example:**

XYZ Corporation paid a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share in the first year, and then increased the dividend to $0.30 per share in the second year. Assume that there were 1,000,000 shares outstanding during both years.

To calculate the total dividends paid over the two-year period, we would first calculate the dividends paid in each year:

First year:

- Dividend per share per quarter = $0.25
- Total dividends paid per quarter = $0.25 x 1,000,000 = $250,000
- Total dividends paid for the year = $250,000 x 4 quarters = $1,000,000

Second year:

- Dividend per share per quarter = $0.30
- Total dividends paid per quarter = $0.30 x 1,000,000 = $300,000
- Total dividends paid for the year = $300,000 x 4 quarters = $1,200,000

So the total dividends paid over the two-year period would be the sum of the dividends paid in each year:

Total dividends paid = $1,000,000 + $1,200,000 = $2,200,000

Therefore, XYZ Corporation paid a total of $2,200,000 in dividends over the two-year period.