To separate people by race or religion is to segregate them. In general, the word segregate means to separate one type of thing from another.

In the United States, the practice of segregating blacks from whites in public schools and public places was common in the South until the 1960s. Because of this, people don't even like to use the word segregate in its neutral sense. But you could rightly say that new bicycle lanes are designed to segregate bikes from auto traffic.

Definitions of segregate

v divide from the main body or mass and collect

“Many towns segregated into new counties”
“Experiments show clearly that genes segregate
Type of:
divide, part, separate
come apart

v separate or isolate (one thing) from another and place in a group apart from others

“the sun segregates the carbon”
“large mining claims are segregated into smaller claims”
Type of:
insulate, isolate
place or set apart

v separate by race or religion; practice a policy of racial segregation

“This neighborhood is segregated
“We don't segregate in this county”
desegregate, integrate, mix
open (a place) to members of all races and ethnic groups
Type of:
discriminate, separate, single out
treat differently on the basis of sex or race

n someone who is or has been segregated

Type of:
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
a human being

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