separate

verb
sep·​a·​rate | \ ˈse-pə-ˌrāt How to pronounce separate (audio) , 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 How to pronounce separate (audio) \

Definition of separate (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : set or kept apart : detached
b archaic : solitary, secluded
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 How to pronounce separate (audio) \

Definition of separate (Entry 3 of 3)

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

separateness \ ˈse-​p(ə-​)rət-​nəs How to pronounce separateness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for separate

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Story line: Can the public finally separate him from Kenan Thompson, his most famous co-star? Emily Yahr, Washington Post, "‘Dancing With the Stars’ premiere: Ranking all the contestants from best to worst," 17 Sep. 2019 Using a material disassembly model for car seat recycling, TerraCycle will work with subcontractors around the country to take the car seats apart and separate them by their components. Allen Kim, CNN, "Walmart's massive car seat recycling program starts today. It's big news for parents -- and the environment," 16 Sep. 2019 Even though candidates are running out of time to separate themselves from competitors, the relative lack of rancor is striking. Charlotte Alter, Time, "The One Where All the Candidates Are Friends," 11 Sep. 2019 What separates them from your standard layer cakes is their pillowy, spongy texture, made with twenty paper-thin crepes stacked between blankets of light pastry cream. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Antoni Porowski, Bella Twins bring latkes, laughs to USA TODAY Wine & Food Experience in NYC," 8 Sep. 2019 But authentic religion connects people rather than separates them into the elects and the misguided, the saved and those who walk in darkness. The Rev. Dr. Wm. Louis "lou" Piel, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Piel: Don’t disregard healthy, authentic religion in spiritual search for answers," 7 Sep. 2019 Woodbridge’s wife once gave an enslaved couple to her son as a wedding present, permanently separating them from their three children. Amanda Blanco, courant.com, "A new project reveals the hidden history of colonial people of color who are buried in downtown Hartford," 6 Sep. 2019 That's what separated us from any other music group in the world. Karen Bliss, Billboard, "Robbie Robertson Explains How The Band Doc 'Once Were Brothers' Came Together," 5 Sep. 2019 And a few guys will need to step up and separate themselves as premier water polo players in our league and in our division of CIF. Matt Szabo, Daily Pilot, "High School Boys’ Water Polo Preview: Newport Harbor going on a ring quest," 4 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Robin Zoll, who lives next to the Chabad house, is named as the plaintiff along with the Aigburth Manor Association of Towson in a similar, but legally separate, lawsuit concerning the house. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "Judge dismisses religious discrimination lawsuit against Baltimore County brought by Towson Chabad," 7 Nov. 2019 On a completely separate — yet equally as important — note, bar soap produces much less waste than a plastic bottle. Allure, "The 17 Best Bar Soaps to Lather Up With During Your Next Shower," 6 Nov. 2019 For new grants, which were separate from the U.N. funding, USAID hosted 33 organizations at a two-day March 2018 Baghdad workshop. Yeganeh Torbati, ProPublica, "How Mike Pence’s Office Meddled in Foreign Aid to Reroute Money to Favored Christian Groups," 6 Nov. 2019 Make sure your reserve fund is separate from your checking account, said Cory Nichols, a financial coach at Yes Life Financial. Anna Bahney, CNN, "What can you do now to financially prepare for a layoff later?," 5 Nov. 2019 This is separate from the state Associated Press poll, which is released on Tuesday evenings during the high school football season. Adam Lichtenstein, sun-sentinel.com, "American Heritage, St. Thomas finish regular season as two of FloridaHSFootball.com’s top teams in the state," 5 Nov. 2019 Eisenberg then suggested that the National Security Council move records of the call to a separate, highly classified computer system, Vindman told lawmakers. BostonGlobe.com, "WASHINGTON - Moments after President Trump ended his phone call with Ukraine’s president on July 25, an unsettled national security aide rushed to the office of White House lawyer John Eisenberg.," 31 Oct. 2019 Eisenberg then suggested that the National Security Council move records of the call to a separate, highly classified computer system, Vindman told lawmakers. Anchorage Daily News, "White House lawyer moved transcript of Trump call to classified server after Ukraine adviser raised alarms," 31 Oct. 2019 Eisenberg then suggested that the National Security Council move records of the call to a separate, highly classified computer system, Vindman told lawmakers. oregonlive, "White House lawyer moved transcript of Trump call to classified server after Ukraine adviser raised alarms," 31 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And while there were plenty of gowns on display, many of the best looks for fall 2020 weren't even dresses, as more brands are playing with separates and jumpsuits than ever before (to the relief of brides who'd prefer a little extra movement). Glamour, "The Best Wedding Looks From Bridal Fashion Week Fall 2020," 7 Oct. 2019 Another familiar face involved in the Smart Set is British-Iraqi designer and close friend of the duchess, Misha Nonoo, whose trademark is pared-back, minimal separates. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Duchess Meghan Brought the Smart Works Fashion Collection to Life," 12 Sep. 2019 The first grouping drops Sept. 12 in J. Jill stores and JJill.com and comprises fall-focused separates, dresses and accessories, with clothing ranging in sizes XS-4XL and 0-28; all pieces are priced between $39 and $209. Laurie Brookins, The Hollywood Reporter, "Christian Siriano’s Focus on Size Inclusivity Continues With J. Jill Collaboration," 6 Sep. 2019 Popular items, from the looks of the hauls in attendees’ arms, appeared to be Hunter backpacks, Lim’s blue and yellow animal-print separates, Sui’s prim-and-proper dresses and Rodarte’s tulle-and-lace designs. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Target goes New York Fashion Week: Inside the store's buzzy anniversary collection," 6 Sep. 2019 Bikinis with clean lines pair well with your other separates, and layer easily under tops, bottoms, and dresses. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Ultimate Honeymoon Packing List," 25 Jan. 2019 In 2015, Current and Elliott launched The Great, a relaxed coterie of everything that's fashionable right now: prairie dresses, collegiate separates, distressed denim and a whiff of Parisienne je ne sais quoi. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Former denim designers behind Current/Elliott debut exclusive Pottery Barn collection at Indianola," 29 Aug. 2019 The task left them exasperated, but compromising their style for the ease of mix-and-match black separates was not an option. Washington Post, "Gabriela Hearst is dressing women for a new era of political power," 17 Aug. 2019 The contrast between the two illustrates that separate was most definitely not equal. Joan Gaylord, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘The Nickel Boys’ reckons with a legacy of racism and abuse," 16 July 2019

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, Adjective, and Noun

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

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More Definitions for separate

separate

verb
How to pronounce separate (audio)

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
How to pronounce separate (audio)

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 How to pronounce separate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce separate (audio) , 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 How to pronounce separate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce separate (audio) \
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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