- 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 separates
Finding the common bonds that help us realize that we have far more in common than that which separates us.In 2015, Let’s Try for More Compassion
January 4, 2015
There is an at-grade light-rail line that for a couple of miles runs right along the Green Line that separates West from East.Mass Murder in the Holy City
November 18, 2014
What separates the trolls from the exuberant or opinionated is anonymity.Outed Madeleine McCann Troll Kills Herself. But Millions Live On Online.
Barbie Latza Nadeau
October 6, 2014
But in Buenos Aires, everyone knows what separates a Boca Juniors fan from a River Plate fan—there's a stark difference in class.The Literature of Futbol: 11 Great Books About Soccer
June 25, 2014
I was captivated and by the end, I felt smarter, finally on the right side of the line that separates boys and men.Almost Famous: A Father's Day Story
June 15, 2014
The gulf which separates parents and children is one which the parents must cross.The Conquest of Fear
Such is the situation of a woman who separates from her husband.Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10)
Where, truly, in man, is the line that separates courage from cowardice?The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ
Would you know the measure of the interval which separates them?
And how enormous is the distance which separates the just from the unjust in regard to pleasure and pain!
- women's outer garments that only cover part of the body and so are worn in combination with others, usually unmatching; skirts, blouses, jackets, trousers, etcCompare coordinates
- (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 separates
"articles of (women's) clothing that may be worn in various combinations," 1945, from separate (adj.). As a noun, separate is attested from 1610s in the sense "separatist."
"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]