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

Working in batches, add the yuca to the oil and stir gently to separate the slices. ExpressNews.com, "Recipe: Chile-Cheese Yuca Chips," 5 June 2019 These goal records suggests there is little to separate the pair. SI.com, "Luka Jovic or Karim Benzema: Assessing Who Should Lead the Line for Real Madrid Next Season," 4 June 2019 As for Holzhauer, don’t expect him to be separated from his buzzer for long. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "James Holzhauer [Redacted] Jeopardy! [Redacted]," 3 June 2019 The company’s agriculture division, Corteva, is hitting problems just as it is set to separate from the DuPont unit, suffering for its own reasons. Lauren Silva Laughlin, WSJ, "DowDuPont Started Spin Cycle at Wrong Time," 31 May 2019 Activist Trian Fund Management LP, which has a roughly 2.5% stake in PPG, has urged executives since October to separate those businesses to accelerate sales and profit growth. ... Micah Maidenberg, WSJ, "PPG Won’t Break Up, Despite Pressure From Activist Investor," 21 May 2019 Flip and grill until peels begin to separate from bananas, about 2 minutes. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "No-Churn Banana Split Ice Cream," 20 May 2019 There are also settings to separate the microphone track from the rest of the recording–not to mention turning on and off the microphone for recording in the first place. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "AMD ReLive review: A stylish video capture tool for Radeon graphics cards," 31 Jan. 2019 The architects extended that moment of privacy into different areas of the apartment with slatted wood screens that can be pulled to separate the kitchen space from the rest of the living room. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Minimalist apartment is serene retreat for retired couple," 26 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Ahmari and a lot of social conservatives seems discontented with two things that might be separate. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "Ross Douthat Describes the Crisis of the Conservative Coalition," 7 June 2019 In 1989 and 1991, Cox was questioned by police in the St. Louis area about inappropriate contact with children on two separate occasions, the Riverfront Times reported. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "A 9-year-old’s murder stumped police for 25 years. Her killer may have been hiding in plain sight.," 6 June 2019 In 1989 and 1991, Cox was questioned by police in the St. Louis area about inappropriate contact with children on two separate occasions, the Riverfront Times reported. Antonia Noori Farzan, The Denver Post, "Missouri 9-year-old’s murder went unsolved for 25 years; killer may have been hiding in plain sight before being arrested in Colorado," 6 June 2019 Oregon routinely violates the deadlines however, The Oregonian/OregonLive found in a separate investigation of more than 200 such cases. oregonlive.com, "Oregon lawmakers announce reform plan, citing ‘unacceptable’ situation at state mental hospital," 5 June 2019 The Facebook video sheds new light on the standoff, which ended after police fired their weapons on two separate occasions. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A woman live streamed Tuesday's I-94 standoff from inside the stolen minivan," 5 June 2019 The tax, which was included as part of the state budget, is separate from a 0.25 percent conveyance tax owed to cities and towns on home sales. Neil Vigdor, courant.com, "Mansion tax draws the ire of the wealthy, real estate industry," 5 June 2019 The port is working with American Triple I Partners, a firm started by former Mayor Henry Cisneros and others, to evaluate a separate facility that could host technology events and training programs and showcase work being done at the campus. Madison Iszler, ExpressNews.com, "Port San Antonio to add another tech building," 4 June 2019 Additionally, the research suggests that multiple groups of prehistoric humans invented stone tools on separate occasions, adapting increasingly complex techniques in order to best extract resources from their environment. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Humans May Have Been Crafting Stone Tools for 2.6 Million Years," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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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