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

  • noun The act or process of moving apart or forcing something apart.
  • noun The condition of being apart, especially the condition of two people who had lived together or been married living in different places.
  • noun An interval or space that separates; a gap.
  • noun The process of sorting or distinguishing into different components, groups, or categories.
  • noun The condition of being so sorted or distinguished.
  • noun The voluntary cessation by spouses of cohabitation and other marital relations.
  • noun A formal legal severing of the relations between spouses that does not dissolve the marriage as in divorce.
  • noun In some jurisdictions, divorce.
  • noun Discharge, as from employment or military service.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In astrology, the condition when two significators have lately been in aspect and the aspect is just over.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The operation of disuniting or decomposing substances; chemical analysis.
  • noun The state of being separate; disunion; disconnection; separate existence.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In music:
  • noun A passing-note between two tones a third apart.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.

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

  • noun Chemical analysis.
  • noun Divorce.
  • noun (Steam Boilers) The operation of removing water from steam.
  • noun (Law) a form of divorce; a separation of man and wife which has the effect of making each a single person for all legal purposes but without ability to contract a new marriage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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


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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