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 Reyes got up quickly and separated back to the middle. Nolan King, MMA Junkie, "UFC 247 results: Jon Jones edges Dominick Reyes in back-and-forth battle to retain title," 9 Feb. 2020 The Iowa Democratic caucuses are coming down to a photo finish as only one-tenth of a percentage point separates Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders with 97% of precincts reported. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Nail-biter: Sanders and Buttigieg neck-and-neck in Iowa with 97% of precincts reporting," 6 Feb. 2020 Upon investigation, no injuries were observed and both parties separated for the night. Houston Chronicle, "Bellaire Police Department weekly report," 20 Jan. 2020 My favorite way to fish for walleyes is to set my lines along the deep edges of remnant green weed beds, or within 5 feet of the base of a sharp breakline that separates a shallow flat or reef from surrounding deep water. Outdoor Life, "3 Killer Ice Fishing Tactics For Mid-Winter Pike, Walleyes, and Panfish," 17 Jan. 2020 With this method, doctors draw blood, separate out the platelets, and then inject these platelets into the scalp. Dina Cheney, SELF, "8 Ways to Make Thinning Hair Shiny and Full Again," 13 Dec. 2019 Marin’s election contributes to the conversation about the place of age in politics, a major talking point of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in which a generation separates the oldest and youngest candidates. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Sanna Marin, 34, Is Finland’s Newest—and the World’s Youngest—Prime Minister," 12 Dec. 2019 As the competition went on and the cuts were made, there was one thing separating the players that continued on from the ones who went home. Bird Brown, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Bird Brown: Hold onto to passion as long as you can in sports," 8 Dec. 2019 Almarai’s subsidiary, Fondomonte, owns much of the land east of Vicksburg Road to the mountains separating Vicksburg from Salome. AZCentral.com, "These 7 industrial farm operations are draining Arizona's aquifers, and no one knows exactly how much they're taking," 5 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective IDAHO CAVE Outlaw and bootlegger Joseph Henry Loveless’ bones were found in an Idaho cave on two separate dates, in 1979 and 1991. Fox News, "DNA, genetic genealogy identifying bodies in decades-old John and Jane Doe cold cases," 15 Feb. 2020 The kids, who were visiting the Kent State campus, erupted in cheers when they were told of the news, while their parents, watching from a live feed in a separate room, burst into tears. Jill Martin, CNN, "Inaugural class at LeBron James' school to receive free tuition to Kent State," 13 Feb. 2020 On Monday night, the Iowa caucuses were held in more than sixteen hundred separate precinct rooms across the state. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, "“Pretty Much a Big Mess”: One Iowa Caucus Precinct’s Drama-Filled Night," 4 Feb. 2020 Indeed, a separate report — also published Thursday — from the Commonwealth Fund compared the U.S. to other wealthy countries, highlighting the U.S.’ last place status for life expectancy. Kaitlin Sullivan, NBC News, "U.S. life expectancy goes up for the first time since 2014," 30 Jan. 2020 The cook-off’s three judges -- John Gardner, son Ryan Gardner and Jacob Lambert -- waited in a separate room for the chili samples to arrive. cleveland, "Folks were just chili’n at the annual Cook Off: Olmsted Dates and Data," 23 Jan. 2020 The crowd was so large that some had to watch the ceremony from a screen in a separate room, one attendee said. Zoe Greenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Mourners celebrate the life of Holy Cross rower killed in Florida crash," 22 Jan. 2020 The trappings of executive life—separate dining rooms, reserved parking spots, private offices and assistants that help run their lives—have faded away. Rachel Feintzeig, WSJ, "The Vanishing Executive Assistant," 18 Jan. 2020 In the new separate video room, all feeds would be withheld until the completion of the current half inning. Dallas News, "‘It’s been a pretty crazy week’: MLB needs to fix the latest bugs in the system. Here are some common-sense suggestions.," 17 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Channeling the breezy vibes of its caftans and lightweight separates, the label’s debut swimwear was created with a holiday spirit in mind. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Dior Taps These Black Artist And More Jan/Feb Style News," 8 Jan. 2020 Perfectly embodying the style of Rachel Green, the collection includes a range of ribbed turtlenecks, a plaid miniskirt, leather separates, classic white shirting, and leather knee-high boots. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ralph Lauren Made a Collection Inspired by Rachel Green," 18 Sep. 2019 Its stint in New York owes much to a Cohen fan by the name of Nili Lotan—known to the fashion world for her blazers and military-esque khaki separates, which look anything but utilitarian. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Designer Nili Lotan Hosts a Preview of the Exhibition “Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything”," 11 Apr. 2019 Called Givenchy Atelier, the men’s and women’s line of separates, bags, and shoes is a mash-up of Givenchy’s couture codes and that of its ready-to-wear. Vogue, "Introducing Givenchy Atelier: A New Capsule Collection of Elevated Essentials Made With a Couture Sensibility," 4 Oct. 2019 Pioneer Road is a four-lane, east-west road the separates Cedarburg from Mequon to the south. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "No criminal charges, but citations are issued in Cedarburg cyclist fatality from May," 27 Nov. 2019 It’s beautiful as well as versatile and pairs with a variety of separates, including blue jeans. Dominique Hobdy, Essence, "Shop Black: This Designer Is On A Mission To Perfect The Classic White Shirt," 27 Sep. 2019 The draft will then be held in five separates phases, with phases 1-4 going for 10 rounds each and phase 5 continuing until each team fills out its 71-man roster. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "XFL draft: Players, picks, order, format, latest updates on teams," 15 Oct. 2016 Expect suiting—both traditional black and more fashion-forward satiny turquoise—polished separates, and sophisticated pieces to go from office to everywhere else. Ana Colón, Glamour, "Henning Is Your New Go-To for Plus-Size Work Clothes," 3 Sep. 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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Time Traveler for separate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for separate

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Separate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/separateness. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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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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