[sep-uh-rey-shuh n]


Origin of separation

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin sēparātiōn- (stem of sēparātiō), equivalent to sēparāt(us) separate + -iōn- -ion
Related formsnon·sep·a·ra·tion, nounpre·sep·a·ra·tion, nounre·sep·a·ra·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for separation

Contemporary Examples of separation

Historical Examples of separation

  • But the British government objected to the separation and their union with Greece.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • It was no separation—so long as like speech it was between them.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • There was none of the illusion of separation; he was always there, like Katie.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • This I did; and we met, again, after a separation of five-and-twenty years.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • In this manner are old shipmates often thrown together, after years of separation.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for 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
  1. the act of jettisoning a burnt-out stage of a multistage rocket
  2. the instant at which such a stage is jettisoned
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

Word Origin and History for separation

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper