Definitions

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

  • n. The act or process of separating.
  • n. The condition of being separated.
  • n. The place at which a division or parting occurs.
  • n. An interval or space that separates; a gap.
  • n. Law An agreement or court decree terminating a spousal relationship.
  • n. Discharge, as from employment or military service.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of separating or the condition of being separated.
  • n. The place at which a division occurs.
  • n. An interval, gap or space that separates things.
  • n. An agreement terminating a relationship between husband and wife, but short of a divorce.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Chemical analysis.
  • n. Divorce.
  • n. The operation of removing water from steam.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of separating, removing, or disconnecting one thing from another; a disjoining or disjunction: as, the separation of the soul from the body; the separation of the good from the bad.
  • n. The operation of disuniting or decomposing substances; chemical analysis.
  • n. The state of being separate; disunion; disconnection; separate existence.
  • n. Specifically, a limited divorce, or divorce from bed and board without a dissolution of the marriage tie. This may be by common consent or by decree of a court; in the latter case it is called a judicial separation. See divorce.
  • n. In music:
  • n. A passing-note between two tones a third apart.
  • n. In organ-building, a contrivance introduced into instruments where the great organ keyboard has a pneumatic action, enabling the player to use that keyboard without sounding the pipes belonging to it, even though its stops may be more or less drawn.
  • n. A body of persons separated in fact or doctrine from the rest of the community; a body of separatists or nonconformists; specifically, in the seventeenth century, the Puritans collectively.
  • n. In astrology, the condition when two significators have lately been in aspect and the aspect is just over.
  • n. In horticulture, the method of propagating plants by means of naturally separable parts, as offsets, small bulbs that spring from a mother bulb, or detachable buds.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the social act of separating or parting company
  • n. the act of dividing or disconnecting
  • n. the state of lacking unity
  • n. sorting one thing from others
  • n. the space where a division or parting occurs
  • n. coming apart
  • n. the termination of employment (by resignation or dismissal)
  • n. the distance between things
  • n. (law) the cessation of cohabitation of man and wife (either by mutual agreement or under a court order)

Etymologies

Attested in the 15th Century CE; from Old French separation, from Latin separationem. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "War is just a violent way of doing what half the people do calmly in peacetime: using the other half for food, heat, machinery and sexual pleasure. Man is the pie that bakes and eats himself, and the recipe is separation."

    December 13, 2007