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

  • transitive v. To set or keep apart; disunite.
  • transitive v. To space apart; scatter: small farms that were separated one from another by miles of open land.
  • transitive v. To sort: separate mail by postal zones.
  • transitive v. To differentiate or discriminate between; distinguish: a researcher who separated the various ethnic components of the population sample.
  • transitive v. To remove from a mixture or combination; isolate.
  • transitive v. To part (a couple), often by decree: She was separated from her husband last year.
  • transitive v. To terminate a contractual relationship, as military service, with; discharge.
  • intransitive v. To come apart.
  • intransitive v. To withdraw: The state threatened to separate from the Union.
  • intransitive v. To part company; disperse.
  • intransitive v. To stop living together as spouses.
  • intransitive v. To become divided into components or parts: Oil and water tend to separate.
  • adj. Set or kept apart; disunited: Libraries often have a separate section for reference books.
  • adj. Existing as an independent entity.
  • adj. Having undergone schism or estrangement from a parent body: Separate churches.
  • adj. Dissimilar from all others; distinct: "a policeman's way of being separate from you even when he was being nice” ( John le Carré).
  • adj. Not shared; individual: two people who held separate views on the issue.
  • adj. Archaic Withdrawn from others; solitary.
  • n. A garment, such as a skirt, jacket, or pair of slacks, that may be purchased separately and worn in various combinations with other garments.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Apart from (the rest); not connected to or attached to (anything else).
  • adj. Not together (with); not united (to).
  • v. To divide (a thing) into separate parts.
  • v. To cause (things or people) to be separate.
  • v. To divide itself into separate pieces or substances.
  • n. Anything that is sold by itself, especially an article of clothing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Divided from another or others; disjoined; disconnected; separated; -- said of things once connected.
  • adj. Unconnected; not united or associated; distinct; -- said of things that have not been connected.
  • adj. Disunited from the body; disembodied.
  • intransitive v. To part; to become disunited; to be disconnected; to withdraw from one another.
  • transitive v. To disunite; to divide; to disconnect; to sever; to part in any manner.
  • transitive v. To come between; to keep apart by occupying the space between; to lie between.
  • transitive v. To set apart; to select from among others, as for a special use or service.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. One who is or prefers to be separate; a separatist; a dissenter.
  • n. A member of an American Calvinistic Methodist sect of the eighteenth century, so called because of their organization into separate societies.
  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. separated according to race, sex, class, or religion
  • adj. have the connection undone; having become separate
  • v. mark as different
  • v. discontinue an association or relation; go different ways
  • n. a separately printed article that originally appeared in a larger publication
  • v. become separated into pieces or fragments
  • v. force, take, or pull apart
  • v. make a division or separation
  • v. divide into components or constituents
  • v. come apart
  • adj. independent; not united or joint
  • v. go one's own way; move apart
  • n. a garment that can be purchased separately and worn in combinations with other garments
  • adj. standing apart; not attached to or supported by anything
  • v. act as a barrier between; stand between
  • v. separate into parts or portions
  • v. treat differently on the basis of sex or race
  • v. arrange or order by classes or categories
  • v. divide into two or more branches so as to form a fork


Middle English separaten, from Latin sēparātus, past participle of sēparāre : sē-, apart; + parāre, to prepare.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin separatus, perfect passive participle of separare ("separate"), from sepire, saepire ("enclose, hedge in"). (Wiktionary)


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