separate

verb
sep·​a·​rate | \ˈse-pə-ˌrāt, ˈse-ˌprāt\
separated; separating

Definition of separate 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to set or keep apart : disconnect, sever

b : to make a distinction between : discriminate, distinguish separate religion from magic

c : sort separate mail

d : to disperse in space or time : scatter widely separated homesteads

2 archaic : to set aside for a special purpose : choose, dedicate

3 : to part by a legal separation:

a : to sever conjugal ties with

b : to sever contractual relations with : discharge was separated from the army

4 : to block off : segregate

5a : to isolate from a mixture : extract separate cream from milk

b : to divide into constituent parts

6 : to dislocate (something, such as a shoulder) especially in sports

intransitive verb

1 : to become divided or detached

2a : to sever an association : withdraw

b : to cease to live together as a married couple

3 : to go in different directions

4 : to become isolated from a mixture the crystals separated out

separate

adjective
sep·​a·​rate | \ˈse-p(ə-)rət \

Definition of separate (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : set or kept apart : detached

b archaic : solitary, secluded

c : immaterial, disembodied

2a : not shared with another : individual separate rooms

b often capitalized : estranged from a parent body separate churches

3a : existing by itself : autonomous a separate country

b : dissimilar in nature or identity consulted five separate authorities

separate

noun
sep·​a·​rate | \ˈse-p(ə-)rət \

Definition of separate (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : offprint

2 : an article of dress designed to be worn interchangeably with others to form various costume combinations usually used in plural

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Other Words from separate

Adjective

separately \ˈse-​p(ə-​)rət-​lē, ˈse-​pərt-​lē \ adverb
separateness \ˈse-​p(ə-​)rət-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for separate

Synonyms: Verb

break up, decouple, disassociate, disconnect, disjoin, disjoint, dissever, dissociate, disunite, divide, divorce, part, ramify, resolve, sever, split, sunder, uncouple, unlink, unyoke

Synonyms: Adjective

different, individual, respective

Antonyms: Verb

join, link, unify, unite

Antonyms: Adjective

same

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Choose the Right Synonym for separate

Verb

separate, part, divide, sever, sunder, divorce mean to become or cause to become disunited or disjointed. separate may imply any of several causes such as dispersion, removal of one from others, or presence of an intervening thing. separated her personal life from her career part implies the separating of things or persons in close union or association. vowed never to part divide implies separating into pieces or sections by cutting or breaking. civil war divided the nation sever implies violence especially in the removal of a part or member. a severed limb sunder suggests violent rending or wrenching apart. a city sundered by racial conflict divorce implies separating two things that commonly interact and belong together. cannot divorce scientific research from moral responsibility

Adjective

distinct, separate, discrete mean not being each and every one the same. distinct indicates that something is distinguished by the mind or eye as being apart or different from others. two distinct versions separate often stresses lack of connection or a difference in identity between two things. separate rooms discrete strongly emphasizes individuality and lack of connection. broke the job down into discrete stages

Verb

separate, part, and divide mean to break into parts or to keep apart. separate may be used when things have been put into groups, or a thing has been removed from a group, or something has been inserted between like things. Separate the good eggs from the bad ones. A fence separates the two yards. part is used when the things to be separated are closely joined in some way. Only death could part the two friends. divide means separating by cutting or breaking into pieces or sections. Divide the pie into six equal portions.

Examples of separate in a Sentence

Verb

Though mechanical grain cutters, called reapers, began appearing around 1800, it was with Cyrus H. McCormick's version that agriculture entered the industrial age. Older reapers simply cut and dropped grain; McCormick's cut, separated, and collected it, increasing production and, ultimately, positioning the American Midwest as the breadbasket to the world. Saveur, June/July 2008 Xanthan gum, for instance … is used in bottled salad dressing to slow the settling of the spice particles and keep water and oil from separating. — Kenneth Chang, New York Times, 6 Nov. 2007 The fact is that Washington has relaxed financial regulations under both Democratic and Republican administrations, opening the doors to conflicts of interest between brokers and investment bankers. In 1998, government, despite concerns, refused to separate consulting and auditing business. — Jeff Madrick, New York Times Book Review, 29 Jan. 2006 On July 11 Brinkley's publicist announced the couple had separated. "She has been extremely concerned about the impact of this situation on her children and felt it was very important to protect them and take them away for a little bit," says one of Brinkley's close friends. "She is totally shocked and just devastated." — Ericka Souter et al., People, 31 July 2006 They described the process used to separate cream from milk. A great distance separated the sisters from each other. They walked together to the corner, but then they separated and went their separate ways. The main group separated into several smaller groups. Oil and water separate when combined together. The oil separated from the water. The salt crystals separated out of the liquid.

Adjective

Today, there are an estimated 30,000 teams playing travel ball, which is entirely separate from more long-standing youth organizations like Little League … — Sara Corbett, New York Times Sports Magazine, June 2006 On my last visit to Lucio, I went with a Spanish TV starlet whose sultry looks helped us land a prime table. Dining at separate tables around us were the Duchess of Badajoz, the king's sister; novelist Mario Vargas Llosa; and a gentleman rumored to be Spain's richest man. — Anya von Bremzen, Saveur, November 2006 A variation of these reactions is reflected in the American deaf community, which is divided into two groups. One rejects the notion that they are disabled. Rather, they claim, they are a separate culture with its own language. The second group defines its deafness as a disability and is more likely to assimilate into the able-bodied world. — Mary Grimley Mason, Working Against Odds, 2004 There are separate restrooms for men and women. The boys have separate rooms. They slept in separate beds. We use the same Internet service provider but have separate accounts. That's an entirely separate issue.

Noun

"Women have a very strong sense of what works for them," says Lyn Devon, the New York designer who sells a nuanced line of silk separates and tailored dresses from her SoHo studio. — Jane Herman, Vogue, June 2006

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Amber Pie ½ Cupful Sugar ½ Cupful Jam (any kind) 2 Tablespoonfuls Flour ½ Cupful Cream, Sweet or Sour 3 Tablespoonfuls Butter 2 Eggs The egg whites are separated from the yolks, and the whites are kept for the meringue. Marley Marius, Vogue, "7 Alternative Thanksgiving Desserts from the Vogue Archive," 16 Nov. 2018 Running an electrical current through water separates the H2O into hydrogen and oxygen. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Where Are All the Hydrogen Cars?," 10 Aug. 2018 One of the spookier DCOMs, Twitches revolves around two twin sisters with magical powers, Alex and Camryn who were separated at birth and adopted by two different families. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "The 20 Best Disney Channel Movies of All Time," 30 July 2018 To help bring families back together who were being separated at the border. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why nonprofits should think more like tech companies," 14 Nov. 2018 His former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, laughed at the mention of a child with Down syndrome being separated from their mother due to Trump’s immigration policy. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "We're Living in a Time of Cruel Laughing Men," 17 Oct. 2018 For nearly two months that policy included parents caught crossing the border with their children and resulted in more than 2,500 children being separated from the parents. Alicia A. Caldwell, WSJ, "Trump Administration Targets Immigrants on Public Assistance," 23 Sep. 2018 The most recent official estimate from July 5 indicated that a little less than 3,000 children are currently in government custody after being separated from their parents. Sarah Nechamkin, The Cut, "Exactly How Many Separated Immigrant Families Have Been Reunited?," 10 July 2018 The sound of mothers weeping after being separated from their children. Tenoch Aztecatl, Andres Torres And Alana Rocha, star-telegram, "'A room so cold that we got headaches:' Mother details conditions inside migrant detention center," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Not only are significant sections of the Trump-Russia section of this memo redacted, but sections on two other separate investigations are entirely redacted. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "4 takeaways from Mueller’s sentencing memo for Michael Flynn," 5 Dec. 2018 The waivers have the potential to be one of the most decisive factors in letting states go separate ways on health care. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "Trump Administration Details Health-Law Waivers for States," 29 Nov. 2018 Then, users must authenticate their identities in three separate ways. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "Nearly 150 West Virginians voted with a mobile blockchain app," 10 Nov. 2018 Favreau's production is wholly separate from Lucas's, which would have been set in the seedy underbelly of Coruscant between the original and prequel trilogies. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know So Far About Star Wars "The Mandalorian"," 5 Oct. 2018 Despite the fact that the two have gone their separate ways, Sam still has nothing but nice things to say about his ex. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Sam Smith Reveals He’s Still Not Over His Breakup With "13 Reasons Why" Star Brandon Flynn," 25 Sep. 2018 Ten instructors help teach the program, which is held in two separate, four-day sessions over the summer for students from the fourth grade to high school. Reema Amin, baltimoresun.com, "Anne Arundel summer dance program conveys confidence as well as technique," 11 July 2018 One of the most refreshing things about living in Europe (or small towns in the rural US) is knowing that the poor aren’t condemned to a completely separate, and inferior, life. Antonio García Martínez, WIRED, "How Silicon Valley Fuels an Informal Caste System," 9 July 2018 Here, Marlboro is marketed by Philip Morris USA, a separate entity that’s owned by tobacco giant Altria. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Juul’s nicotine salts are dominating the market — and other companies want in," 21 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Students filled the Cramton Auditorium dressed in their Thursday best: plaid separates and towering Off-White boots, gold lamé dresses layered under faux fur jackets, kaleidoscopic minis paired with shiny puffer jackets. Ashley Walker, Teen Vogue, "Howard Homecoming's Fashion Show Was a Celebration of Black Culture and Style," 27 Oct. 2018 Fortunately, a great coat can solve that problem, quickly transforming mundane separates to bring you out of any seasonal slump. Anny Choi, Vogue, "Shop Fall’s Best Coats at Every Price Point," 25 Sep. 2018 Paltrow stuck to her elevated preppy-chic style with matching floral separates. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gwyneth Paltrow and Blythe Danner Prove You're Never Too Old for a Mommy-and-Me Moment," 21 July 2017 From the iconic lion logo jewelry and statement-making carpet coat to classic denim that’ll never go out style and the famed separates (think versatile blouses, skirts, trousers), Anne’s archives are a fashion lover’s dream. Minna Shim, Harper's BAZAAR, "Anne Klein: The Legendary Designer Who Changed The Way American Women Dressed," 15 Oct. 2018 While its first collection featured 38 pieces, mostly luxurious robes and slip dresses, Attico has since evolved to include separates, eveningwear, shoes and bags. Lindzi Scharf, latimes.com, "Attico designers take inspiration from 'Grey Gardens' as they build on their 'modern vintage' approach," 12 July 2018 Pack a few separates, too, like this red lace off-the-shoulder crop top and pair it with some button-front cut-offs. Kami Phillips, PEOPLE.com, "Going Away for Memorial Day Weekend? Pack These 12 Essentials," 16 May 2018 Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2015; Baja East Spring 2018 At its height, the Marc by Marc Jacobs brand was the go-to for wallflower types looking for kooky prints and oddly proportioned separates. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "What Will John Targon Bring to Marc Jacobs? 5 Ideas from the Baja East Runway," 2 Feb. 2018 Over the weekend, however, the Duchess of Sussex took every opportunity to break out her more casual, breezy separates. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Shop Meghan Markle's Bright Yellow Dress from the 'Your Commonwealth' Youth Challenge Reception," 5 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of separate

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for separate

Verb

Middle English, from Latin separatus, past participle of separare, from se- apart + parare to prepare, procure — more at secede, pare

Adjective

see separate entry 1

Noun

see separate entry 1

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Statistics for separate

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for separate

The first known use of separate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for separate

separate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of separate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cause (two or more people or things) to stop being together, joined, or connected : to make (people or things) separate

: to be between (two things or people)

: to stop being together, joined, or connected : to become separate

separate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of separate (Entry 2 of 2)

: not joined, connected, or combined : placed or kept apart

: different from something else : not related

separate

verb
sep·​a·​rate | \ˈse-pə-ˌrāt \
separated; separating

Kids Definition of separate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to set or keep apart … Jess and Leslie turned and ran … down to the dry creek bed that separated farmland from the woods.— Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia

2 : to make a distinction between Be sure to separate fact from fiction.

3 : to cease to be together : part There was sadness when the friends separated.

separate

adjective
sep·​a·​rate | \ˈse-pə-rət, ˈse-prət\

Kids Definition of separate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : set apart The motel contains fifty separate units.

2 : not shared : individual We were each busy with our separate projects.

3 : existing independently from each other The company broke up into three separate businesses.

separate

verb
sep·​a·​rate | \ˈsep-(ə-)ˌrāt \
separated; separating

Medical Definition of separate 

transitive verb

1 : to isolate from a mixture : extract

2 : dislocate separated his right shoulder

intransitive verb

: to become isolated from a mixture

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separate

verb
sep·​a·​rate | \ˈse-pə-ˌrāt \
separated; separating

Legal Definition of separate 

transitive verb

: to cause the separation of

intransitive verb

: to undergo a separation the couple separated last year — compare divorce

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More from Merriam-Webster on separate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with separate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for separate

Spanish Central: Translation of separate

Nglish: Translation of separate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of separate for Arabic Speakers

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