segregate

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

Definition of segregate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

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

segregate

noun
seg·​re·​gate | \ ˈse-gri-gət How to pronounce segregate (audio) , -ˌgāt\

Definition of segregate (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is in some respect segregated especially : one that differs genetically from the parental line because of genetic segregation

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from segregate

Verb

segregative \ ˈse-​gri-​ˌgā-​tiv How to pronounce segregative (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for segregate

Synonyms: Verb

cut off, insulate, isolate, seclude, separate, sequester

Antonyms: Verb

desegregate, integrate, reintegrate

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.

Examples of segregate in a Sentence

Verb

The civil rights movement fought against practices that segregated blacks and whites. Many states at that time continued to segregate public schools.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Voting is segregated throughout Pakistan with every single polling station divided into sections for men and women, including separate election officials. Fox News, "Suicide blast kills 31 as Pakistan holds general elections," 25 July 2018 That was also true for African Americans, even in a country that was legally segregated in some places and functionally segregated virtually everywhere else. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Green Book builds a feel-good comedy atop an artifact of shameful segregation. Yikes.," 7 Jan. 2019 Similarly, Halston’s business sense, both in terms of licensing and his democratic belief that luxury and masstige could co-exist, were prescient, but also way in advance of an industry that still segregated high and low design. Vogue, "Watch an Exclusive Clip of Halston Before Its Sundance Premiere—And Read What the Director and Producer Say About Its Making," 23 Jan. 2019 Baltimore and its surrounding suburbs are starkly segregated by race and class — a pattern set in motion by policymakers in the early 20th century that continues to this day. Jillian Weinberger, Vox, "Greater Baltimore is starkly segregated by race and class. A housing program is trying to change that.," 30 Nov. 2018 Children also have to miss school or be segregated from their peers because of regular visits to the school nurse. Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, "Parents of Children With Diabetes Sue NYC Education Department," 1 Nov. 2018 Forager ants have fewer connections within the network and are markedly segregated from the queen and the young nurses. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Sick ants stay away from the kids," 26 Nov. 2018 Many European governments have also been reluctant to target all of Iran’s proxies, segregating Hezbollah’s political operations as separate from the group’s martial wing, which the continent has blacklisted as a terror organization. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "U.S. Ramps Up Sanctions on Hezbollah as Part of Iran Pressure," 13 Nov. 2018 After studying transit and job patterns, Bluestone found that roughly 80 percent of workers tend to work and commute within the northern or southern halves of Boston, meaning the job market for many Bostonians is geographically segregated. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "As top innovation hub expands, can straining local infrastructure keep pace?," 6 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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, "Ancestry Site MyHeritage Says 92 Million User Accounts Have Been Compromised," 5 June 2018 As public schools re-segregate, the rise in charter schools has not helped this trend. Lincoln Anthony Blades, Teen Vogue, "Why Brown v Board of Education Is More Important Than Ever," 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, "The Best Approach To Racism: Engage Each Other," 19 Aug. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of segregate

Verb

1542, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1871, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for segregate

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about segregate

Share segregate

Statistics for segregate

Last Updated

19 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for segregate

The first known use of segregate was in 1542

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for segregate

segregate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of segregate

: to separate groups of people because of their particular race, religion, etc.
: to not allow people of different races to be together in (a place, such as a school)

segregate

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

Kids Definition of segregate

: to separate a race, class, or group from the rest of society

segregate

intransitive verb
seg·​re·​gate | \ ˈseg-ri-ˌgāt How to pronounce segregate (audio) \
segregated; segregating

Medical Definition of segregate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to undergo genetic segregation

segregate

noun
seg·​re·​gate | \ -gət How to pronounce segregate (audio) \

Medical Definition of segregate (Entry 2 of 2)

: an individual or class of individuals differing in one or more genetic characters from the parental line usually because of segregation of genes

Keep scrolling for more

segregate

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

Legal Definition of segregate

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

Other Words from segregate

segregative \ -​ˌgā-​tiv How to pronounce segregative (audio) \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on segregate

What made you want to look up segregate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!