segregation

noun

seg·​re·​ga·​tion ˌse-gri-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce segregation (audio)
1
: the act or process of segregating : the state of being segregated
2
a
: 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 Apartheid was originally used to refer to the White South African government’s racial segregation and political and economic discrimination of the country’s majority non-White population. Niha Masih, Washington Post, 21 Feb. 2024 Some activists were part of the Third World Liberation Front, a student group that linked racial segregation and discrimination in the United States to colonialism, imperialism and militarism across the globe. Dana Goldstein, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2024 African nations were attempting to break the chains of European colonialism while African Americans were seeking to do the same with Jim Crow segregation. Chadd Scott, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 The liberation movement that had inspired the world with its moral stances—against segregation and, then, for its calls for forgiveness and reconciliation—became highly transactional in its foreign affairs. Steven Friedman, Foreign Affairs, 8 Feb. 2024 Racist real estate practices such as appraisal discrimination, neighborhood segregations, and other institutional efforts to keep Black Americans from buying homes are other factors, White says. Sydney Lake, Fortune, 2 Feb. 2024 Four years in the making, the documentary navigates slavery and segregation, Jonathan Street’s Black middle-class residents after the Civil War, redlining, and the effects of the opioid epidemic, with insight from politicians including Maryland Gov. Wes Moore. Abigail Gruskin, Baltimore Sun, 2 Feb. 2024 Across America's landscape, sundown towns strictly enforced segregation, in many instances expelling Black travelers when under threat of harm. A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez, Parents, 21 Jan. 2024 Consider the Supreme Court’s famous 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, which ordered the end of school segregation. Jessica A. Schoenherr, The Conversation, 6 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'segregation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of segregation was in 1555

Dictionary Entries Near segregation

Cite this Entry

“Segregation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/segregation. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

segregation

noun
seg·​re·​ga·​tion ˌseg-ri-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce segregation (audio)
1
: the act or process of segregating : the state of being segregated
2
: the separation or isolation of a race, class, or group (as by restriction to an area or by separate schools)

Medical Definition

segregation

noun
seg·​re·​ga·​tion ˌseg-ri-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce segregation (audio)
: the separation of allelic genes that occurs typically during meiosis

Legal Definition

segregation

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

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