segregate

1 of 2

verb

seg·​re·​gate ˈse-gri-ˌgāt How to pronounce segregate (audio)
segregated; segregating

transitive verb

1
: to separate or set apart from others or from the general mass : isolate
2
: to cause or force the separation of (as from the rest of society)

intransitive verb

1
2
: to practice or enforce a policy of segregation
3
: to undergo genetic segregation
segregative adjective

segregate

2 of 2

noun

seg·​re·​gate ˈse-gri-gət How to pronounce segregate (audio)
-ˌgāt
: one that is in some respect segregated
especially : one that differs genetically from the parental line because of genetic segregation

Did you know?

The prefix se- means "apart", so when you segregate something you set it apart from the herd. The word typically means separating something undesirable from the healthy majority. During the apple harvest, damaged fruit is segregated from the main crop and used for cider. In prisons, hardened criminals are segregated from youthful offenders. Lepers used to be segregated from the general population because they were thought to be highly infectious. The opposite of segregate is often integrate, and the two words were in the news almost daily for decades as African-Americans struggled to be admitted into all-white schools and neighborhoods.

Example Sentences

Verb The civil rights movement fought against practices that segregated black and white people. Many states at that time continued to segregate public schools.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Still, Gensler acknowledged that U.S. law requires companies to properly segregate funds. Marco Quiroz-gutierrez, Fortune, 7 Dec. 2022 Lizzo recently opened up about the stigma of pop music, explaining the difference between pop music and race music and how the latter was used to segregate Black artists. Christy Piña, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Nov. 2022 The exchange is also the custodian, but has no legal obligation to segregate assets. Paul Vigna, WSJ, 25 Nov. 2022 So, the effort to segregate the investigation from the attorney general himself is in the eye of the beholder. CBS News, 20 Nov. 2022 But the court also ordered election officials to segregate and preserve them, setting the stage for a legal fight. Charles Homans, New York Times, 7 Nov. 2022 And pitch is really important for your ability to identify melody and can also help segregate multiple instruments along with timbral cues. Drew Magary, Men's Health, 8 Nov. 2022 Cannon subsequently assigned a veteran Brooklyn judge, Raymond Dearie, to review the records and segregate those that may be protected by claims of attorney-client privilege and executive privilege. Mark Sherman, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Oct. 2022 Cannon subsequently assigned a veteran Brooklyn judge, Raymond Dearie, to review the records and segregate those that may be protected by claims of attorney-client privilege and executive privilege. Jessica Gresko, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Oct. 2022
Noun
Choosing to self-segregate opens the door open to polarization. Helen Lee Bouygues, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2022 Friendships between people of different races are common until about the age of 10, when children begin to self-segregate. Stephanie H. Murray, The Week, 9 Aug. 2022 Other sensitive data, including family trees and DNA data, are stored on segregate systems that are separate from those that house email addresses. Kirsten Korosec, Fortune, 5 June 2018 As public schools re-segregate, the rise in charter schools has not helped this trend. Lincoln Anthony Blades, Teen Vogue, 17 May 2018 There is also another cultural trend that has led many in our nation to ideologically self-segregate, not based on race, but based on ideology. James Lankford, National Review, 19 Aug. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'segregate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Latin segregatus, past participle of segregare, from se- apart + greg-, grex herd — more at secede

First Known Use

Verb

1542, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1871, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of segregate was in 1542

Dictionary Entries Near segregate

Cite this Entry

“Segregate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/segregate. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

segregate

verb
seg·​re·​gate
ˈseg-ri-ˌgāt
segregated; segregating
: to separate from others or from the general mass : isolate
especially : to separate by races

Medical Definition

segregate

1 of 2 intransitive verb
seg·​re·​gate ˈseg-ri-ˌgāt How to pronounce segregate (audio)
segregated; segregating
: to undergo genetic segregation

segregate

2 of 2 noun
seg·​re·​gate -gət How to pronounce segregate (audio)
: an individual or class of individuals differing in one or more genetic characters from the parental line usually because of segregation of genes

Legal Definition

segregate

verb
seg·​re·​gate ˈse-gri-ˌgāt How to pronounce segregate (audio)
segregated; segregating

transitive verb

: to cause or force the separation of
specifically : to separate (persons) on the basis of race, religion, or national origin

intransitive verb

: to practice or enforce a policy of segregation
segregative adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on segregate

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