separate

Things that are separate are kept apart from other things. A married couple heading for divorce might eat breakfast at separate tables.

You can use the adjective separate to describe something that is thought of as different or not related to other things. The adjective is from the Latin prefix se- "apart" plus parare "to prepare." Separate is also used as a verb, pronounced "SEP-uh-rate." Separate is one of the most commonly misspelled words, so beware of the erroneous spelling, seperate.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: separate

1
adjvn
standing apart; not attached to or supported by anything
force, take, or pull apart
a separately printed article that originally appeared in a larger publication
2
adjvn
independent; not united or joint
act as a barrier between; stand between
a garment that can be purchased separately and worn in combinations with other garments
3
vadj
treat differently on the basis of sex or race
separated according to race, sex, class, or religion
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: separate
1

adj standing apart; not attached to or supported by anything

“a house with a separate garage”
Synonyms:
freestanding
detached
used of buildings; standing apart from others

adj have the connection undone; having become separate

Synonyms:
disjoined
unconnected
not joined or linked together

v force, take, or pull apart

“He separated the fighting children”
Synonyms:
disunite, divide, part
Types:
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compartmentalise, compartmentalize, cut up
separate into isolated compartments or categories
polarise, polarize
cause to concentrate about two conflicting or contrasting positions
isolate, keep apart, sequester, sequestrate, set apart
set apart from others
disjoin, disjoint
make disjoint, separated, or disconnected; undo the joining of
disarticulate, disjoint
separate at the joints
disconnect
make disconnected, disjoin or unfasten
cut
separate with or as if with an instrument
tear
to separate or be separated by force
joint
separate (meat) at the joint
gin
separate the seeds from (cotton) with a cotton gin
break
separate from a clinch, in boxing
break up, sever
set or keep apart
bust, rupture, snap, tear
separate or cause to separate abruptly
manicure
trim carefully and neatly
scissor
cut with or as if with scissors
plane, shave
cut or remove with or as if with a plane
slice, slice up
cut into slices
pink
cut in a zigzag pattern with pinking shears, in sewing
jag
cut teeth into; make a jagged cutting edge
carve, cut up
cut to pieces
carve
form by carving
carve, chip at
engrave or cut by chipping away at a surface
cube, dice
cut into cubes
julienne
cut into long thin strips
chop, hack
cut with a hacking tool
undercut
cut obliquely into (a tree) below the main cut and on the side toward which the tree will fall
hack
cut away
chop, chop up
cut into pieces
cut down, drop, fell, strike down
cause to fall by or as if by delivering a blow
chip, nick
cut a nick into
nick, snick
cut slightly, with a razor
break off, chip, cut off, knap
break a small piece off from
pare, trim
remove the edges from and cut down to the desired size
circumcise
cut the skin over the clitoris
chamfer, chase, furrow
cut a furrow into a columns
indent
cut or tear along an irregular line so that the parts can later be matched for authentication
mortice, mortise
cut a hole for a tenon in
decouple, uncouple
disconnect or separate
detach
cause to become detached or separated; take off
cut down, mow
cut with a blade or mower
shear
cut or cut through with shears
gash, slash
cut open
cut down, slash
cut with sweeping strokes; as with an ax or machete
tap
cut a female screw thread with a tap
hob
cut with a hob
bore, drill
make a hole, especially with a pointed power or hand tool
clip, nip, nip off, snip, snip off
sever or remove by pinching or snipping
dissect
cut open or cut apart
bisect
cut in half or cut in two
transect
cut across or divide transversely
trisect
cut in three
pare, whittle
cut small bits or pare shavings from
chatter
cut unevenly with a chattering tool
cut away
remove by cutting off or away
tomahawk
cut with a tomahawk
saber, sabre
cut or injure with a saber
rebate
cut a rebate in (timber or stone)
cradle
cut grain with a cradle scythe
incise
make an incision into by carving or cutting
trench
cut or carve deeply into
bob, dock, tail
remove or shorten the tail of an animal
cleave, rive, split
separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
slice, slit
make a clean cut through
lacerate
cut or tear irregularly
saw
cut with a saw
discerp, lop, sever
cut off from a whole
pull, rend, rip, rive
tear or be torn violently
rip up, shred, tear up
tear into shreds
chase
cut a groove into
bevel, chamfer
cut a bevel on; shape to a bevel
crosscut, cut across
cut using a diagonal line
rip
cut (wood) along the grain
Type of:
displace, move
cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense

v come apart

“The two pieces that we had glued separated
Synonyms:
divide, part
Types:
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subdivide
form into subdivisions
polarise, polarize
become polarized in a conflict or contrasting situation
break up, calve
release ice
break away, break off, chip, chip off, come off
break off (a piece from a whole)
disjoin, disjoint
become separated, disconnected or disjoint
come away, come off, detach
come to be detached
segregate
divide from the main body or mass and collect
segment
divide or split up
reduce
undergo meiosis
section, segment
divide into segments
partition, partition off
divide into parts, pieces, or sections
discerp, dismember, take apart
divide into pieces
gerrymander
divide unfairly and to one's advantage; of voting districts
flake, flake off, peel, peel off
come off in flakes or thin small pieces
exfoliate
come off in a very thin piece
blow off
come off due to an explosion or other strong force
chop off, cut off, lop off
remove by or as if by cutting
unsolder
remove the soldering from
fall off
come off
syllabicate, syllabify, syllabise, syllabize
divide into syllables
quarter
divide into quarters
pound, pound off
partition off into compartments
Type of:
change
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

v become separated into pieces or fragments

Synonyms:
break, come apart, fall apart, split up
break
destroy the integrity of; usually by force; cause to separate into pieces or fragments
Types:
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break open, burst, split
come open suddenly and violently, as if from internal pressure
puncture
be pierced or punctured
burst, bust
break open or apart suddenly and forcefully
smash
break suddenly into pieces, as from a violent blow
ladder, run
come unraveled or undone as if by snagging
crack, snap
break suddenly and abruptly, as under tension
break up, fragment, fragmentise, fragmentize
break or cause to break into pieces
crush
become injured, broken, or distorted by pressure
pop
burst open with a sharp, explosive sound
blow
burst suddenly
stave, stave in
burst or force (a hole) into something
atomise, atomize
break up into small particles
bray, comminute, crunch, grind, mash
reduce to small pieces or particles by pounding or abrading
pound
break down and crush by beating, as with a pestle
shatter
break into many pieces
sunder
break apart or in two, using violence
sliver, splinter
break up into splinters or slivers
rag
break into lumps before sorting
crumb
break into crumbs
brecciate
break into breccia
crush
break into small pieces
grate, grind
make a grating or grinding sound by rubbing together
Type of:
change integrity
change in physical make-up

v make a division or separation

Synonyms:
divide
Types:
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partition, zone
separate or apportion into sections
break
destroy the integrity of; usually by force; cause to separate into pieces or fragments
break up, dispel, disperse, dissipate, scatter
to cause to separate and go in different directions
rail, rail off
separate with a railing
detach
separate (a small unit) from a larger, especially for a special assignment
close off, shut off
isolate or separate
screen off, separate off
partition by means of a divider, such as a screen
shatter
cause to break into many pieces
fracture
break into pieces
break in
break so as to fall inward
dash, smash
break into pieces, as by striking or knocking over
disband
cause to break up or cease to function
curtain off
separate by means of a curtain

v separate into parts or portions

Synonyms:
carve up, dissever, divide, split, split up
Antonyms:
unify, unite
act in concert or unite in a common purpose or belief
Types:
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subdivide
divide into smaller and smaller pieces
format, initialise, initialize
divide (a disk) into marked sectors so that it may store data
sectionalise, sectionalize
divide into sections, especially into geographic sections
triangulate
divide into triangles or give a triangular form to
unitise, unitize
divide (bulk material) and process as units
lot
divide into lots, as of land, for example
parcel
divide into parts
sliver, splinter
divide into slivers or splinters
paragraph
divide into paragraphs, as of text
canton
divide into cantons, of a country
Balkanise, Balkanize
divide a territory into small, hostile states
Type of:
change integrity
change in physical make-up

v divide into components or constituents

Separate the wheat from the chaff”
Types:
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break down, break up, decompose
separate (substances) into constituent elements or parts
dialyse, dialyze
separate by dialysis
peptise, peptize
disperse in a medium into a colloidal state
macerate
separate into constituents by soaking
card, tease
separate the fibers of
filter, filter out, filtrate, separate out, strain
remove by passing through a filter
extract
separate (a metal) from an ore
fractionate
obtain by a fractional process
fractionate
separate into constituents or fractions containing concentrated constituents
sieve, sift, strain
separate by passing through a sieve or other straining device to separate out coarser elements
wash
separate dirt or gravel from (precious minerals)
disperse
separate (light) into spectral rays
avulse
separate by avulsion
digest
soften or disintegrate by means of chemical action, heat, or moisture
dissociate
to undergo a reversible or temporary breakdown of a molecule into simpler molecules or atoms
crack
reduce (petroleum) to a simpler compound by cracking
rice
sieve so that it becomes the consistency of rice
resift
sift anew
riddle, screen
separate with a riddle, as grain from chaff
fan, winnow
separate the chaff from by using air currents
pan, pan off, pan out
wash dirt in a pan to separate out the precious minerals
Type of:
change integrity
change in physical make-up

v arrange or order by classes or categories

Synonyms:
assort, class, classify, sort, sort out
Types:
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unitise, unitize
separate or classify into units
catalog, catalogue
make an itemized list or catalog of; classify
isolate
separate (experiences) from the emotions relating to them
refer
think of, regard, or classify under a subsuming principle or with a general group or in relation to another
reclassify
classify anew, change the previous classification
size
sort according to size
dichotomise, dichotomize
divide into two opposing groups or kinds
pigeonhole, stamp, stereotype
treat or classify according to a mental stereotype
group
arrange into a group or groups
grade
determine the grade of or assign a grade to
count, number
put into a group
regroup
reorganize into new groups
bracket
classify or group
chunk, collocate, lump
group or chunk together in a certain order or place side by side
batch
batch together; assemble or process as a batch
Type of:
categorise, categorize
place into or assign to a category

v discontinue an association or relation; go different ways

“The couple separated after 25 years of marriage”
Synonyms:
break, break up, part, split, split up
Types:
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give the axe, give the bounce, give the gate
terminate a relationship abruptly
break apart, disunify
break up or separate
disassociate, disjoint, dissociate, disunite, divorce
part; cease or break association with
break with
end a relationship
divorce, split up
get a divorce; formally terminate a marriage
break away, secede, splinter
withdraw from an organization or communion
break, break away
interrupt a continued activity

v go one's own way; move apart

“The friends separated after the party”
Synonyms:
part, split
Types:
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disperse, dissipate, scatter, spread out
move away from each other
break up
come apart
diffract
undergo diffraction
aerosolise, aerosolize
become dispersed as an aerosol
break
scatter or part
volley
be dispersed in a volley
disband, dissolve
stop functioning or cohering as a unit
Type of:
move
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

v divide into two or more branches so as to form a fork

Synonyms:
branch, fork, furcate, ramify
branch, ramify
grow and send out branches or branch-like structures
Types:
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arborise, arborize
branch out like trees
twig
branch out in a twiglike manner
bifurcate
divide into two branches
trifurcate
divide into three
Type of:
diverge
move or draw apart

n a separately printed article that originally appeared in a larger publication

Synonyms:
offprint, reprint
Type of:
article
nonfictional prose forming an independent part of a publication
2

adj independent; not united or joint

“a problem consisting of two separate issues”
“they went their separate ways”
“formed a separate church”
Synonyms
individual, single
being or characteristic of a single thing or person
independent
free from external control and constraint
segregated, unintegrated
separated or isolated from others or a main group
other
not the same one or ones already mentioned or implied
apart
having characteristics not shared by others
asunder
widely separated especially in space
detached, isolated, separated, set-apart
being or feeling set or kept apart from others
discrete, distinct
constituting a separate entity or part
disjoint
having no elements in common
disjunct, isolated
marked by separation of or from usually contiguous elements
isolable
capable of being isolated or disjoined
unaccompanied
(of a state or an event) taking place without something specified occurring at the same time
unshared
not shared
divided
separated into parts or pieces
Antonyms:
joint
united or combined
collective
forming a whole or aggregate
common
belonging to or participated in by a community as a whole; public
integrated
not segregated; designated as available to all races or groups
clannish
characteristic of a clan especially in being unified
concerted, conjunct, conjunctive, cooperative
involving the joint activity of two or more
conjoined, conjoint
consisting of two or more associated entities
collective, corporate
done by or characteristic of individuals acting together
cosignatory
signing jointly with others
shared
have in common; held or experienced in common
united
characterized by unity; being or joined into a single entity
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v act as a barrier between; stand between

Synonyms:
divide

v mark as different

Synonyms:
differentiate, distinguish, secern, secernate, severalise, severalize, tell, tell apart
Types:
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know
be able to distinguish, recognize as being different
discriminate, know apart
recognize or perceive the difference
label
distinguish (an element or atom) by using a radioactive isotope or an isotope of unusual mass for tracing through chemical reactions
label
distinguish (as a compound or molecule) by introducing a labeled atom
sex
tell the sex (of young chickens)
individualise, individualize
make or mark or treat as individual
contrast
put in opposition to show or emphasize differences
severalise, severalize
distinguish or separate
contradistinguish
distinguish by contrasting qualities
decouple, dissociate
regard as unconnected
demarcate
separate clearly, as if by boundaries
discriminate, single out
treat differently on the basis of sex or race
stratify
divide society into social classes or castes
insulate, isolate
place or set apart
subtilize
mark fine distinctions and subtleties, as among words
hive off
remove from a group and make separate
segregate
separate by race or religion; practice a policy of racial segregation
redline
discriminate in selling or renting housing in certain areas of a neighborhood
disadvantage, disfavor, disfavour
put at a disadvantage; hinder, harm
Type of:
identify, place
recognize as being; establish the identity of someone or something

n a garment that can be purchased separately and worn in combinations with other garments

Type of:
garment
an article of clothing
3

v treat differently on the basis of sex or race

Synonyms:
discriminate, single out
Types:
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insulate, isolate
place or set apart
hive off
remove from a group and make separate
segregate
separate by race or religion; practice a policy of racial segregation
redline
discriminate in selling or renting housing in certain areas of a neighborhood
disadvantage, disfavor, disfavour
put at a disadvantage; hinder, harm
segregate
separate or isolate (one thing) from another and place in a group apart from others
ghettoise, ghettoize
put in a ghetto
cloister
seclude from the world in or as if in a cloister
seclude, sequester, sequestrate, withdraw
keep away from others
quarantine
place into enforced isolation, as for medical reasons
maroon
leave stranded on a desert island without resources
hamper, handicap, hinder
put at a disadvantage
prejudice
disadvantage by prejudice
Type of:
differentiate, distinguish, secern, secernate, severalise, severalize, tell, tell apart
mark as different

adj separated according to race, sex, class, or religion

separate but equal”
“girls and boys in separate classes”
Synonyms
segregated, unintegrated
separated or isolated from others or a main group

WORD FORMS

vnvnv
force, take, or pull apart
an article that originally appeared in a larger publication
act as a barrier between
garment that can be worn in combinations with other garments
treat differently on the basis of sex or race
1 separate
2 separate
adjadjadj
standing apart; not attached to or supported by anything
independent; not united or joint
divided according to race, sex, class, or religion
3 separate
WORD FAMILY
USAGE EXAMPLES