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[sep-uh-rey-ter] /ˈsɛp əˌreɪ tər/
a person or thing that separates.
any of various apparatus for separating one thing from another, as cream from milk, steam from water, or wheat from chaff.
Electricity. a device that prevents metal contact between plates of opposite charge in a storage battery.
Machinery. retainer1 (def 3).
Origin of separator
1600-10; < Late Latin sēparātor, equivalent to Latin sēparā(re) to separate + -tor -tor
Related forms
preseparator, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for separator
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Philadelphia separator is made of quarter sawed hardwood.

  • Therefore, keep the separator tank in a clean place and keep a cover on it.

  • He took the separator apart and carried it up to his mother to be washed.

    Here and Now Story Book Lucy Sprague Mitchell
  • He took the strap off one wheel and put it around the wheel of the separator.

    Here and Now Story Book Lucy Sprague Mitchell
  • The graphic used as a separator is taken from the cover design.

  • The graphic used as a separator is adapted from the cover design.

    Fishy-Winkle Jean C. Archer
  • Ole was some rumpled, and his clothes looked as if they had been fed into a separator.

    At Good Old Siwash George Fitch
  • For this purpose a separator is introduced and all whey is separated daily.

    The Book of Cheese

    Charles Thom and Walter Warner Fisk
  • In Stockholm they manufacture a separator which is sent to every part of the world.

British Dictionary definitions for separator


a person or thing that separates
a device for separating things into constituent parts, as milk into cream, etc
Derived Forms
separatory, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for separator

c.1600, "separatist," agent noun from separate (v.). As a mechanical device for separating, from 1831.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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