from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To set, force, or keep apart.
  • intransitive verb To put space between; space apart or scatter.
  • intransitive verb To form a border or barrier between (two areas or groups).
  • intransitive verb To place in different groups; sort.
  • intransitive verb To differentiate or discriminate between; distinguish.
  • intransitive verb To cause to be distinct or different.
  • intransitive verb To remove from a mixture or combination; isolate.
  • intransitive verb To cause (one person) to stop living with another, or to cause (a couple) to stop living together, often by decree.
  • intransitive verb To terminate a contractual relationship with (someone); discharge.
  • intransitive verb To come apart; become detached.
  • intransitive verb To withdraw or break away.
  • intransitive verb To part company; go away from each other; disperse.
  • intransitive verb To stop living together as a couple.
  • intransitive verb To become divided into components or parts.
  • adjective Not touching or adjoined; detached.
  • adjective Existing or considered as an independent entity.
  • adjective Dissimilar from all others; distinct or individual.
  • adjective Having undergone schism or estrangement from a parent body.
  • noun Something that is separate or distinct, especially.
  • noun A garment, such as a skirt, jacket, or pair of slacks, that may be purchased separately and worn in various combinations with other garments.
  • noun A stereo component that is purchased separately and connected to other components as part of a system.
  • noun An offprint of an article.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To sever the connection or association of; disunite or disconnect in any way; sever.
  • To divide, place, or keep apart; cut off, as by an intervening space or body; occupy the space between: as, the Atlantic separates Europe from America.
  • Synonyms To disjoin, disconnect, detach, disengage, sunder, cleave, distinguish, isolate.
  • To dissociate.
  • To part; be or become disunited or disconnected; withdraw from one another.
  • To cleave; open; come apart.
  • Divided from the rest; disjoined; disconnected: used of things that have been united or associated.
  • Specifically, disunited from the body; incorporeal: as, the separate state of souls.
  • By its or one's self; apart from others; retired; secluded.
  • Distinct; unconnected.
  • Individual; particular.
  • An estate held by another in trust for a married woman.
  • Synonyms Distinct, etc. (see different), disunited, dissociated, detached. See the verb.
  • noun One who is or prefers to be separate; a separatist; a dissenter.
  • noun A member of an American Calvinistic Methodist sect of the eighteenth century, so called because of their organization into separate societies.
  • noun An article issued separately; a separate slip, article, or document; specifically, in bibliography, a copy of a printed article, essay, monograph, etc., published separately from the volume of which it forms a part, often retitled and repaged.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To disunite; to divide; to disconnect; to sever; to part in any manner.
  • transitive verb To come between; to keep apart by occupying the space between; to lie between.
  • transitive verb To set apart; to select from among others, as for a special use or service.
  • transitive verb (Bot.) flowers which have stamens and pistils in separate flowers; diclinous flowers.
  • intransitive verb To part; to become disunited; to be disconnected; to withdraw from one another.
  • adjective Divided from another or others; disjoined; disconnected; separated; -- said of things once connected.
  • adjective Unconnected; not united or associated; distinct; -- said of things that have not been connected.
  • adjective Disunited from the body; disembodied.
  • adjective (Law) an estate limited to a married woman independent of her husband.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English separaten, from Latin sēparātus, past participle of sēparāre : sē-, apart; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots + parāre, to prepare; see perə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin separatus, perfect passive participle of separare ("separate"), from sepire, saepire ("enclose, hedge in").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word separate.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • sePARaTe

    April 24, 2008

  • I can't spell this word to save my own life! Just when I think I've got it -- I'm wrong...

    July 11, 2008