seg·​re·​ga·​tion | \ ˌse-gri-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce segregation (audio) \

Definition of segregation

1 : the act or process of segregating : the state of being segregated
2a : the separation or isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group by enforced or voluntary residence in a restricted area, by barriers to social intercourse, by separate educational facilities, or by other discriminatory means
b : the separation for special treatment or observation of individuals or items from a larger group segregation of gifted children into accelerated classes
3 : the separation of allelic genes that occurs typically during meiosis

Examples of segregation in a Sentence

They fought to end the segregation of public schools. the segregation of men and women
Recent Examples on the Web How a Supreme Court case about pig farms could muddy looming debate over out-of-state abortions Precedent:The Supreme Court has overruled itself on segregation and saluting the flag. John Fritze, USA TODAY, 14 May 2022 At Smith State Prison, Christopher Heath was found dead with a belt around his neck after he was locked in a tiny, windowless shower stall in the prison’s segregation unit. Jennifer Peebles, ajc, 13 May 2022 Rhodes and East Tech were chosen because Owens attended East Tech in the late 1920s and early 1930s, but was only allowed to practice at Rhodes due to segregation. Jonathan X. Simmons, cleveland, 11 May 2022 Seminole County bought the Rosenwald property — a relic of the school segregation era — in late 2019 from the school district for $1.75 million with plans to turn it into a community center. Martin E. Comas, Orlando Sentinel, 5 May 2022 Yet women’s bodies, and all the bodies that have the power to give birth, are about to become casualties to a political movement rooted not in an interest in preserving life, but in preserving segregation. Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 Marroquin could have been placed in enhanced observation housing (EOH), a unit designed for actively suicidal people, but Alonso described EOH as being more restrictive than administrative segregation. Kelly Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 May 2022 The changes will increase access to Redfin’s real estate services across the country and help counter redlining and residential segregation that NFHA and the other plaintiffs alleged Redfin’s policies perpetuated. Nicholas K. Geranios, Baltimore Sun, 29 Apr. 2022 Hundreds of segregation academies opened, to cater to white families. Megan K. Stack, The New Yorker, 28 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of segregation

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of segregation was in 1555

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Segregation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for segregation


seg·​re·​ga·​tion | \ ˌse-gri-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce segregation (audio) \

Kids Definition of segregation

: the practice or policy of separating a race, class, or group from the rest of society


seg·​re·​ga·​tion | \ ˌseg-ri-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce segregation (audio) \

Medical Definition of segregation

: the separation of allelic genes that occurs typically during meiosis


seg·​re·​ga·​tion | \ ˌse-gri-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce segregation (audio) \

Legal Definition of segregation

1 : separation of individuals or groups and especially racial groups — compare desegregation
de facto segregation
: segregation of racial groups that arises as a result of economic, social, or other factors rather than by operation or enforcement of laws or other official state action
de jure segregation
: segregation intended or mandated by law or otherwise intentionally arising from state action

Note: De jure segregation is illegal.

2 : separate confinement of prisoners within a penal institution

More from Merriam-Webster on segregation

Nglish: Translation of segregation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of segregation for Arabic Speakers


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