- an act or instance of separating or the state of being separated.
- a place, line, or point of parting.
- a gap, hole, rent, or the like.
- something that separates or divides.
- cessation of conjugal cohabitation, as by mutual consent.
- judicial separation.
- Aerospace. the time or act of releasing a burned-out stage of a rocket or missile from the remainder.
- Photography. separation negative.
Origin of separation
- the act of separating or state of being separated
- the place or line where a separation is made
- a gap that separates
- family law the cessation of cohabitation between a man and wife, either by mutual agreement or under a decree of a courtCompare judicial separation, divorce
- the act of jettisoning a burnt-out stage of a multistage rocket
- the instant at which such a stage is jettisoned
c.1400, from Old French separacion (Modern French séparation), from Latin separationem (nominative separatio) noun of action from past participle stem of separare (see separate (v.)). Specific sense of "sundering of a married couple" is attested from c.1600. Sense in photography is from 1922. Separation of powers first recorded 1788, in "Federalist" (Hamilton), from French séparée de la puissance (Montesquieu, 1748). Separation anxiety first attested 1943.