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 Sep·a·rate . noting or relating to a church or other organization no longer associated with the original or parent organization.
Usually sep·a·rates . 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.
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.
- sep·a·rate·ly, adverb
- sep·a·rate·ness, noun
- non·sep·a·rat·ing, adjective
- pre·sep·a·rate, verb (used with object), pre·sep·a·rat·ed, pre·sep·a·rat·ing.
- re·sep·a·rate, verb, re·sep·a·rat·ed, re·sep·a·rat·ing.
- un·sep·a·rate, adjective
- un·sep·a·rate·ness, noun
- un·sep·a·rat·ed, adjective
- un·sep·a·rat·ing, adjective
- well-sep·a·rat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use separate in a sentence
We could have looped back, but instead followed a separate trail to Pounds Hollow Lake.A day’s drive from Chicago, exploring a very different Illinois | Carson Vaughan | February 12, 2021 | Washington Post
Here again, that only serves to further separate the haves from the have-nots.Don’t hate the vaccine tourists, hate the vaccine game | Jen Kirby | February 12, 2021 | Vox
The two were separated, and Ujiri eventually joined the team and did a TV interview.Raptors president, sheriff’s deputy drop lawsuits over shoving incident at NBA Finals | Cindy Boren | February 12, 2021 | Washington Post
At a time when we need whatever unity we can find and sports might be one place to find it, the anthem could be a two-minute span when we agree that we’re all Americans, that we should be together rather than separate.The pregame national anthem — in all its roiling contradictions — still has something to offer | Barry Svrluga | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
The result was the Ignite, a separate team of elite prospects, surrounded by handpicked veterans, that has no affiliation with an NBA franchise.An NBA experiment lets draft prospects skip college, stay home and get paid to play | Michael Lee | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
There is, however, a separate wing of AQAP designed to inspire their followers to conduct attacks against the West.U.S. Spies See Al Qaeda Fingerprints on Paris Massacre | Shane Harris, Nancy A. Youssef | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
My younger, straighter-than-an-arrow son was stopped and arrested in two separate jurisdictions a few years ago.
We separate the search for justice from the search for truth at our peril.
“I never felt that culture and the arts were separate from politics,” he says.DJ Spooky Wants You To Question Everything You Know About Music, Technology, and Philosophy | Oliver Jones | December 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
“She was hot-headed, had her own way of doing things,” Gill said—and so, he left to form a separate militia group.
It was an error not to separate borrowing entirely from monetary issues.Readings in Money and Banking | Chester Arthur Phillips
He devoured it whole with a kind of visual gulp—a flash; the entire meaning first, then lines, then separate words.The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
By a device resorted to in each separate case to help make a more vivid First Impression.Assimilative Memory | Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
It has one separate room where poor Spanish women are treated, which generally has from twelve to twenty women.
Therefore, every piece had its own separate voice in exact proportion to the amount of trouble spent upon it.Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II | Rudyard Kipling
British Dictionary definitions for separate
(tr) to act as a barrier between: a 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 between: to 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 independently: a 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
- separately, adverb
- separateness, noun
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