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.

Definitions of separate
  1. adjective
    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
  2. adjective
    having the connection undone; having become separate
    synonyms: disjoined
    unconnected
    not joined or linked together
  3. verb
    force, take, or pull apart
    “He separated the fighting children”
    synonyms: disunite, divide, part
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 72 types...
    hide 72 types...
    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
    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, rent, 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
  4. verb
    come apart
    “The two pieces that we had glued separated
    synonyms: divide, part
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 22 types...
    hide 22 types...
    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
  5. verb
    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
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 22 types...
    hide 22 types...
    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
  6. verb
    make a division or separation
    synonyms: divide
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 13 types...
    hide 13 types...
    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
  7. verb
    separate into parts or portions
    synonyms: carve up, dissever, divide, divvy, split, split up
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    unify, unite
    act in concert or unite in a common purpose or belief
    types:
    show 11 types...
    hide 11 types...
    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
  8. verb
    divide into components or constituents
    Separate the wheat from the chaff”
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 21 types...
    hide 21 types...
    break down, break up, decompose, degrade
    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
  9. verb
    arrange or order by classes or categories
    synonyms: assort, class, classify, sort, sort out
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 15 types...
    hide 15 types...
    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
  10. verb
    discontinue an association or relation; go different ways
    “The couple separated after 25 years of marriage”
    synonyms: break, break up, part, split, split up
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 7 types...
    hide 7 types...
    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
  11. verb
    go one's own way; move apart
    “The friends separated after the party”
    synonyms: part, split
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 7 types...
    hide 7 types...
    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
  12. verb
    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
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 4 types...
    hide 4 types...
    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
  13. noun
    a separately printed article that originally appeared in a larger publication
    synonyms: offprint, reprint
    see moresee less
    type of:
    article
    nonfictional prose forming an independent part of a publication
  14. adjective
    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
    see moresee less
    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
    show more antonyms...
  15. verb
    act as a barrier between; stand between
    synonyms: divide
  16. verb
    mark as different
    synonyms: differentiate, distinguish, secern, secernate, severalise, severalize, tell, tell apart
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 19 types...
    hide 19 types...
    know
    be able to distinguish, recognize as being different
    discern, 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
  17. noun
    a garment that can be purchased separately and worn in combinations with other garments
    see moresee less
    type of:
    garment
    an article of clothing
  18. verb
    treat differently on the basis of sex or race
    synonyms: discriminate, single out
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 13 types...
    hide 13 types...
    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
  19. adjective
    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 Family