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

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 region soon froze over, but when a second wind storm hit, the slabs of ice that were previously separated crunched together to form ridges, one of which boosted a garage full of snowmobiles 12 feet into the air. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "Marooned: Researchers Will Freeze Their Ship into Arctic Ocean Ice for a Year," 17 Sep. 2019 Ever since separating from (and now in the middle of a divorce with) husband Liam Hemsworth, Miley Cyrus has spent what feels like every single waking moment with girlfriend Kaitlynn Carter. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kaitlynn Carter Has Been Constantly Wearing an "M" Ring on That Finger for Days Now," 12 Sep. 2019 After separating from its orbiter earlier in the week, Vikram sped toward the lunar surface at a top velocity of roughly 5,381 feet per second. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Why Is It So Damn Hard to Land on the Moon?," 10 Sep. 2019 And once the Haitian evacuees get here with nothing, Arty said, their only desire is to reunite with family members they’ve been separated from or who rode different boats over. Tonya Alanez, sun-sentinel.com, "Stigma of being Haitian in the Bahamas reignites after Hurricane Dorian," 8 Sep. 2019 Families were separated—men sent to work on road gangs, women and children to isolated ghost towns in the wilderness of British Columbia. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Hidden Japanese Settlement Found in Forests of British Columbia," 3 Sep. 2019 But Ocando arrived as a sports lawyer and an avid soccer fan, separated from its vibrant culture some 3,300 miles away from his native Venezuela. Drake Hills, azcentral, "Phoenix Rising FC helps sports lawyer from Venezuela embrace new home in Tempe," 27 Aug. 2019 Tony's family was deported to Mexico, which means they are currently separated for the time being. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "All the Questions We Have After "13 Reasons Why" Season 3," 24 Aug. 2019 Byrne and the site were found liable for defamation in 2016 related to separate allegations made on the site against a Canadian man, Altaf Nazerali, and ordered to pay nearly $1 million dollars. Billy Perrigo, Time, "The Overstock CEO Resigned Claiming 'Deep State' Conspiracy and a Relationship With a Russian Spy. Here's What to Know," 23 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Netanyahu has been shadowed by separate but intertwined long-running scandals, and the attorney general has recommended criminal charges in three of them. Noga Tarnopolsky, Los Angeles Times, "Tight race and high stakes for Israel’s Netanyahu in Tuesday’s vote," 17 Sep. 2019 For all of urban history, factories, power plants, warehouses, and the like have been kept separate from where people live. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Why Cities Need to De-Emphasize Cars and Turn Streets Into Parks—Data Sheet," 17 Sep. 2019 Prosecutors in Florida and Pennsylvania will likely coordinate the timing of their separate, but connected, prosecutions of Vazquez. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "The Murky Future for Pirates Pitcher Felipe Vazquez," 17 Sep. 2019 In his belief, God was not separate from the world and watching from a distance, but fully present in every aspect of creation. Simran Jeet Singh, The Conversation, "Why Sikhs wear a turban and what it means to practice the faith in the United States," 13 Sep. 2019 When Williams College, which is separate from the festival but integral to it, opened the Class of ’62 Center for Theater and Dance in 2005, part of the answer fell into place. Jesse Green, New York Times, "How a Summer Festival Is Shaping New York’s Theatrical Winter," 13 Sep. 2019 The House investigation is separate and distinct from the various antitrust probes against the same four companies the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and nearly all the states currently have in progress. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Congress wants Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon emails as probe heats up," 13 Sep. 2019 Facebook says any data generated while searching will be kept separate from its main service and not used to target ads. The Economist, "Facebook has unleashed a new dating service," 12 Sep. 2019 Volunteers were were separated into three different shifts and operated in groups at separate tables. SFChronicle.com, "9/11 brings out the best in Bay Area volunteers packing meals for needy," 11 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 From New York to Milan to Paris, Michael Kors to Prada to Dior, crochet separates were prominent on the runways for spring 2019. Glamour, "Crochet Is Getting a Very Chic Upgrade for Summer 2019," 7 May 2019 The mix-and-match-able separates—which are still an emerging trend elsewhere in the market—are what brides will be drawn to. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Wedding Gowns Aren’t the Main Story for This Brand-New Bridal Designer," 10 Apr. 2019 Judging from the catalog alone, this year's selection will include plaid trousers and ankle-length coats, bright structured separates, colorful knit sweaters, floral midi skirts, camel knee-high boots, and the list goes on. refinery29.com, "How To Shop The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Before Everyone Else," 15 July 2019 The collection is made up of ready-to-wear separates, including oversized jackets, graphic tees, midriff tops, sheer kimonos and light-wash denim, available in sizes 0-20, with prices ranging from $28 to $160. Hanna Flanagan, PEOPLE.com, "Emily Ratajkowski Just Launched a Clothing Collaboration with Nasty Gal: Shop It Now," 19 June 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

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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