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)

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 How to pronounce separately (audio) , ˈse-​pərt-​lē \ adverb
separateness \ ˈse-​p(ə-​)rət-​nəs How to pronounce separateness (audio) \ 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

The company will likely create a new policy that separates deepfakes from misinformation. Danielle Abril, Fortune, "Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook is Working on a Policy for Policing Deepfake Videos," 26 June 2019 Castillo, from the start, sought to break down the stately stuffiness that separated neighbors. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "What does San Angelo have that Dallas doesn’t? Here’s how the West Texas town ended up on the global stage," 25 June 2019 To make sure no one was actually hanged, the noose was cut behind the neck and held together with magnets that would separate in case a rigger slipped or the forklift moved too quickly. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "How They Pulled Off That Forklift Scene in 'Child's Play'," 24 June 2019 Ronan conceives of the visitor and education center as an extension of a long brick wall that separates the Home and Studio from busy Chicago Avenue. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Wright or wrong? A planned visitor center next to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio raises thorny issues," 21 June 2019 Approximately 30 percent of the world's annual oil tanker shipments travel through the Strait of Hormuz, the 21-mile wide shipping channel that separates Iran from United Arab Emirates and serves. James Osborne, Houston Chronicle, "Gasoline prices unlikely to rise due to tanker attacks, GasBuddy says," 13 June 2019 The wall that separated the stands from the court at the Hawthorne Rec Center. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Jeff Gildea will continue to visit Indiana's fading gyms as long as cancer lets him," 11 June 2019 Kevin Durant's return and ability to perform are all that separate the Warriors from survival and defeat. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Kevin Durant Is All That Separates the Warriors From Survival and Defeat," 10 June 2019 Redwood City officials did consider alternatives that separated Broadway and Woodside, but the benefits were not great. Gary Richards, The Mercury News, "What happens if I park in a space marked for electric cars? Roadshow," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Attorney Jacqueline Greene, whose firm is also pursuing a separate lawsuit on behalf of several inmates over jail conditions, filed the suit. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Cuyahoga County Jail inmate says guards fractured his jaw, damaged eardrum in attack," 3 July 2019 The plan has been frozen as part of a separate lawsuit. Sarah Min, CBS News, "So deep in student debt, they're suing Betsy DeVos over delays in loan forgiveness," 27 June 2019 The Sioux City Journal reports Luis Aceves, Jose Moreno and Jose Magana filed three separate lawsuits last week against Northwest Iowa Pork in Sioux City. USA TODAY, "Troll trail, coal train derailment, geyser record: News from around our 50 states," 27 June 2019 The ongoing dispute involves a separate lawsuit filed by the guild against the top agencies over packaging fees — a lucrative and longstanding practice in which an agency receives fees over the course of a TV project for putting together talent. David Ng, latimes.com, "WME sues Writers Guild of America as agency dispute gets uglier," 24 June 2019 The separate areas are united by a Anderson-esque love of arches, soft, glowy lighting, and playful visual tricks that makes every nook of the restaurant totally, almost annoyingly, snapshot-worthy. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Gorgeous restaurant is a not-so-subtle homage to Wes Anderson’s sets," 24 June 2019 The 19th century portion of the home holds the kitchen, which the current owners completely renovated to their own specifications, including a separate sink area for their dogs. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Hot Property: An ex-Civil War prisoner came home to this cottage. See what it looks like today.," 21 June 2019 The magnitude of the opioid crisis is spelled out in separate lawsuits filed this month by Seminole and Lake counties against the pharmaceutical industry. Martin E. Comas, orlandosentinel.com, "Seminole, Lake join national suits against opioid manufacturers for ‘the worst man-made epidemic in modern medical history’," 20 June 2019 The Red Zone is anchored by a huge, 2 million-piece waterfall, whose kaleidoscope of colors teases visitors into separate areas featuring traditional Lego bricks as well as its larger, toddler-friendly Duplo varieties. Jerry Soverinsky, BostonGlobe.com, "How Lego House came to be: brick by brick," 18 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The split aligns with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to create their own royal household separate from William and Kate's. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Are Splitting from Their Joint Charity with Kate Middleton and Prince William," 20 June 2019 In an editorial separate from its reporting on Rebrikov, Nature is critical of his project. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Russian Scientist Wants to Use CRISPR to Genetically Edit Infants," 12 June 2019 While George suited up, Amal looked stunning in separates from Giambattista Valli, wearing an embellished skirt and shirt combo. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Amal Clooney Made a Rare, Romantic Red Carpet Appearance With Husband George," 14 May 2019 While snakeskin separates are sure to add a modern touch to any ensemble, Kardashian West’s all-over take is the season’s mic-drop and look to beat. Vogue, "Is Snake Print the New Neutral? Kim Kardashian West Makes the Case," 25 Mar. 2019 Débora Rosa nails the idea, mixing her snake skirt with black separates. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Shop the Snakeskin Print Trend We're Going All In On," 11 Jan. 2019 The separates were beautifully embellished to match her Anmol jewelry. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Attended Their Friend's Wedding—and Of Course They Looked Spectacular," 12 Dec. 2018 The 23-piece collection is made up of comfortable, wearable separates in neutral shades that will be available from $38 to $248. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Amy Schumer Takes Her Fashion Cred to the Next Level With the New Clothing Line Le Cloud," 27 Nov. 2018 For her first appearance at the WellChild Awards with Prince Harry today, the Duchess of Sussex suited up in chic, all-black separates by Altuzarra. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Wears a Chic Altuzarra Suit to the WellChild Awards with Prince Harry," 4 Sep. 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, 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

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 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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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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