- to keep apart or divide, as by an intervening barrier or space: to separate two fields by a fence.
- to put, bring, or force apart; part: to separate two fighting boys.
- to set apart; disconnect; dissociate: to separate church and state.
- to remove or sever from association, service, etc., especially legally or formally: He was separated from the army right after V-E Day.
- to sort, part, divide, or disperse (an assemblage, mass, compound, etc.), as into individual units, components, or elements.
- to take by parting or dividing; extract (usually followed by from or out): to separate metal from ore.
- Mathematics. to write (the variables of a differential equation) in a form in which the differentials of the independent and dependent variables are, respectively, functions of these variables alone: We can separate the variables to solve the equation.Compare separation of variables.
- to part company; withdraw from personal association (often followed by from): to separate from a church.
- (of a married pair) to stop living together but without getting a divorce.
- to draw or come apart; become divided, disconnected, or detached.
- to become parted from a mass or compound: Cream separates from milk.
- to take or go in different directions: We have to separate at the crossroad.
- detached, disconnected, or disjoined.
- unconnected; distinct; unique: two separate questions.
- being or standing apart; distant or dispersed: two separate houses; The desert has widely separate oases.
- existing or maintained independently: separate organizations.
- individual or particular: each separate item.
- not shared; individual or private: separate checks; separate rooms.
- (sometimes initial capital letter) noting or pertaining to a church or other organization no longer associated with the original or parent organization.
- Usually separates. women's outer garments that may be worn in combination with a variety of others to make different ensembles, as matching and contrasting blouses, skirts, and sweaters.
- offprint(def 1).
- a bibliographical unit, as an article, chapter, or other portion of a larger work, printed from the same type but issued separately, sometimes with additional pages.
Origin of separate
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for separated
Andrew and Fergie separated in 1992 after six years of marriage and formally divorced in 1996.Fergie Dives Into Prince Andrew’s Sex Scandal
January 5, 2015
But the film lags during long stretches—particularly in the middle, when Franco and Rogen are separated from one-another.Sony’s ‘The Interview’: A Glorious, Patriotic, and Katy Perry-Filled Mess
December 24, 2014
Counter-protestors marched to confront the pro-police contingent, separated by barricades and uniformed officers.NYC’s Garner Protesters vs. Pro-Cop Protesters
December 20, 2014
Patty Hearst's parents are separated, and he broods about which parent the girl will go to before her marriage.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
She was separated from her colleagues after they were overcome by smoke and heat and ordered to withdraw.The Mystery Death Of A Female Firefighter
December 13, 2014
She was legally a wife, and could only be separated from him through convicted shame.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
So soon as they reached it, Indians separated into two bodies.The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California
Brevet Col. J.C. Fremont
She had two letters in one hand, which she had separated from the others.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
They swayed, then separated as though they had been torn apart.Way of the Lawless
Thus they were separated,—Ben and his wife,—never to meet again on this earth.Biography of a Slave
- (tr) to act as a barrier betweena range of mountains separates the two countries
- to put or force or be put or forced apart
- to part or be parted from a mass or group
- (tr) to discriminate betweento separate the men from the boys
- to divide or be divided into component parts; sort or be sorted
- to sever or be severed
- (intr) (of a married couple) to cease living together by mutual agreement or after obtaining a decree of judicial separation
- existing or considered independentlya separate problem
- disunited or apart
- set apart from the main body or mass
- distinct, individual, or particular
- solitary or withdrawn
- (sometimes capital) designating or relating to a Church or similar institution that has ceased to have associations with an original parent organization
Word Origin and History for separated
1530s, past participle adjective from separate (v.). In reference to married couples deciding to live apart, from 1878.
"detached, kept apart," c.1600, from separate (v.) or from Latin separatus. Separate but equal in reference to U.S. segregation policies on railroads is attested from 1888. Separate development, official name of apartheid in South Africa, is from 1955. Related: Separately (1550s); separateness.
Frequently the colored coach is little better than a cattle car. Generally one half the smoking car is reserved for the colored car. Often only a cloth curtain or partition run half way up separates this so-called colored car from the smoke, obscene language, and foul air of the smokers' half of the car. All classes and conditions of colored humanity, from the most cultured and refined to the most degraded and filthy, without regard to sex, good breeding or ability to pay for better accommodation, are crowded into this separate, but equal (?) half car. [Rev. Norman B. Wood, "The White Side of a Black Subject," 1897]