separation

noun
sep·​a·​ra·​tion | \ ˌse-pə-ˈrā-shən \

Definition of separation 

1 : the act or process of separating : the state of being separated
2a : a point, line, or means of division
b : an intervening space : gap the separation between wheel spokes
3a : cessation of cohabitation between a married couple by mutual agreement or judicial decree
b : termination of a contractual relationship (such as employment or military service)

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Examples of separation in a Sentence

After a separation of 30 years, she visited her family in Cuba. Moving away meant separation from his family.

Recent Examples on the Web

The president does not believe in separation of powers. Taimoor Shah, The Seattle Times, "Trump to ‘review’ case of Green Beret accused of murdering Afghan," 16 Dec. 2018 Dawnland Dawnland is a documentary that focuses on the systematic separation of Wabanaki children from their families by government agents, children that were then placed with white families during most of the 20th century. Maka Monture, Teen Vogue, "10 Films That Show How the U.S. Has Mistreated Native Americans and Alaska Natives," 22 Nov. 2018 Sabraw is the judge deciding the lawsuit brought by the ACLU against President Donald Trump's administration over the separation of migrant families during a zero-tolerance border crackdown. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Meet the judge who is forcing the government to reunite immigrant families," 13 July 2018 After first blaming the practice on the Democrats, President Trump on June 20 signed an executive order that stopped the separation of families. CBS News, "With thousands of children still separated, deadline to reunite immigrants quickly approaching," 6 July 2018 After first blaming the practice on the Democrats, Trump on June 20 signed an executive order that stopped the separation of families. Meredith Colias-pete, Post-Tribune, "No deportation flight and no police as more than 100 protest at Gary airport," 6 July 2018 The two biggest chambers of commerce here are conspicuously split on whether a local catering firm should be feeding children in a tent city in Tornillo that sprang up as a result of the Trump administration’s separation of families at the border. Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, "Chambers split on RK Group subcontract," 2 July 2018 On June 20, Trump issued an executive order that stopped the separation of families at the border. Lauren Fox, kansascity, "About 2,000 gather in KC to be 'a voice for the children' in immigration rally," 30 June 2018 But unlike in the U.S., there is no separation of powers between the executive and the legislature, and the country’s courts can’t strike down primary legislation. Stephen Fidler, WSJ, "Brexit Upends British Political System," 10 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'separation.' 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 separation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for separation

The first known use of separation was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for separation

separation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of separation

: the act of separating people or things or the state of being separated

: a situation in which a husband and wife live apart from each other

separation

noun
sep·​a·​ra·​tion | \ ˌse-pə-ˈrā-shən \

Kids Definition of separation

1 : the act of setting or pulling apart : the state of being set or pulled apart
2 : a point or line at which something is divided
3 : a space between The buildings have a narrow separation.

separation

noun
sep·​a·​ra·​tion | \ ˌsep-ə-ˈrā-shən \

Medical Definition of separation 

1 : the process of isolating or extracting from or of becoming isolated from a mixture also : the resulting state

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separation

noun
sep·​a·​ra·​tion | \ ˌse-pə-ˈrā-shən \

Legal Definition of separation 

1 : cessation of cohabitation between a married couple by mutual agreement with intent that it be permanent also : legal separation — compare divorce

Note: In some cases in which the estrangement is extreme, a separation is considered to have occurred even when the couple retain the same residence if they have stopped communicating and engaging in sexual relations and intend to be separated.

2 : termination of a contractual relationship (as employment or military service)

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