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.
discrete strongly emphasizes individuality and lack of connection.
broke the job down into discrete stages
Examples of separate in a Sentence
VerbThough 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 2008Xanthan 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. 2007The 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. 2006On 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. AdjectiveToday, 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 2006On 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 2006A 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 2006See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The two stages are designed to separate 2 minutes and 41 seconds into the flight.—NBC News, 18 Nov. 2023 SpaceX congratulated its team on a successful lift-off and booster separation, which comes months after the booster failed to separate during the first flight test.—Meredith Deliso, ABC News, 18 Nov. 2023 That’s why the upper stage and booster failed to separate, SpaceX concluded.—WIRED, 18 Nov. 2023 Not only were Serena’s mom and Dan’s dad each other’s first love, but both generations faced pressure to separate from an elitist van der Woodsen matriarch because the Humphreys don’t come from money.—Abrigail Williams, Vogue, 18 Nov. 2023 High in the sky, the vehicles separated seamlessly—through a technique that SpaceX debuted during this flight—and employees let out wild cheers.—Marina Koren, The Atlantic, 18 Nov. 2023 About three minutes after lift-off, the booster and ship did successfully separate, but the booster broke apart shortly after.—Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 2023 All these things kind of separate me in such a way that the hip-hop side of it.—Kyle Eustice, SPIN, 16 Nov. 2023 College goal posts are separated by 18 feet, 6 inches.—Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Nov. 2023
Soft serve ice cream recalled due to listeria outbreak 00:27
Separately, two people were hospitalized in a listeria outbreak linked to ice cream made by The Ice Cream House of Brooklyn, New York, which issued separate recalls in August and September.—Kate Gibson, CBS News, 21 Nov. 2023 Here, that meant viewing the rooms not just as separate entities but within the context of the others.—Grace McCloud, Vogue, 21 Nov. 2023 In a separate development that could relieve some of the pressure on Gaza’s collapsing health system, dozens of trucks entered from Egypt on Monday with equipment from Jordan to set up a field hospital.—Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 21 Nov. 2023 Made from 18-karat white gold, the striking timepiece showcases a distinctive square dial, a delicate three-strand bracelet, and some 22 carats of diamonds (155 separate stones).—Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 20 Nov. 2023 In a separate investigation, which is ongoing, Spanish state prosecutors have charged Shakira with evading 6.7 million euros (about $7.3 million) in tax on her 2018 income, via an offshore company in a tax haven.—Jazz Monroe, Pitchfork, 20 Nov. 2023 Her legal record will also reflect that she was found guilty of tax fraud — which could have an effect on separate tax evasion charges the singer is still facing.
Sharp.—Anne Branigin, Washington Post, 20 Nov. 2023 Those contracts are separate from the city’s program.—David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Nov. 2023 Don’t worry about leaks though; they’re designed to stay separate from your shower, keeping your liner and even another curtain intact.—Matthew Parker, Rolling Stone, 8 Nov. 2023
The separates are so comfortable to wear for long travel days, even doubling as PJs for a long-haul flight or car ride, and perfect as loungewear for those inevitable airport delays.—Alesandra Dubin, Travel + Leisure, 12 Nov. 2023 Ahead of Prairie View’s winning game versus the University of Arkansas Pine-Bluff, students and alumnae alike were spotted in eye-catching pieces comprised of glittering items, cotton graphic separates, and more.—Robyn Mowatt, Essence, 6 Nov. 2023 Capturing the essence of a stylish Nancy Meyers heroine enjoying a luxurious beachfront life required cashmere as soft as a cloud, linen separates, and designer bags capacious enough to contain a small car (not forgetting the obligatory glass of Sancerre).—Alex Kessler, Vogue, 18 Oct. 2023 The brand says its precise tapered brush separates and coats each lash for 12-hour wear.—Caroline Brew, Variety, 17 Oct. 2023 Vampire In Brooklyn Angela Bassett’s chic costuming in Vampire In Brooklyn which also starred Eddie Murphy consisted of mainly black and red separates.—Robyn Mowatt, Essence, 17 Oct. 2023 The ready-to-wear collection offers classic black and midnight-blue tuxedos, available as separates in sizes from 36 short to 50 long.—Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 12 Oct. 2023 To meet students at Nottingham Trent University on Wednesday, Kate steered away from her month-long repeat of ‘business-like’ pantsuits and opted for coordinating separates with a chic matching midi-skirt and sweater.—Monique Jessen, Peoplemag, 11 Oct. 2023 Most memorable were delicately pleated and crinkled silk separates and playful silk-taffeta micro-skorts.—José Criales-Unzueta, Vogue, 19 Sep. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'separate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Verb, Adjective, and Noun
Middle English, from Latin separatus, past participle of separare, from se- apart + parare to prepare, procure — more at secede, pare