When two things that were together come apart, it's a separation, whether they're the two halves of your Oreo or a married couple splitting up.

If you leave your beloved cat to go to college, it's a separation — the two of you are parting ways, at least for a little while. The root is the Latin word separare, which means "to pull apart." A separation from someone you care about can be hard, but the trickiest thing about separation is remembering how to spell it. One common trick is to keep in mind that there's "a rat" in the middle of the word.

Definitions of separation
  1. noun
    the act of dividing or disconnecting
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    the withdrawal of eleven southern states from the Union in 1860 which precipitated the American Civil War
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    a forcible tearing or surgical separation of one body part from another
    the act of removing from association
    secession, withdrawal
    formal separation from an alliance or federation
    the termination or destruction of union
    disconnection, disjunction
    the act of breaking a connection
    the act or process of dividing
    detachment, disengagement
    the act of releasing from an attachment or connection
    the act of tearing
    remotion, removal
    the act of removing
    division, partition, partitioning, sectionalisation, sectionalization, segmentation
    the act of dividing or partitioning; separation by the creation of a boundary that divides or keeps apart
    divergence, divergency
    the act of moving away in different direction from a common point
    the act of ceasing to participate in an activity
    detribalisation, detribalization
    the decline or termination of tribal organization
    breakaway, breaking away
    the act of breaking away or withdrawing from
    the division into parcels
    the act of cleaving or splitting
    dividing into two equal parts
    dividing into four equal parts
    schism, split
    division of a group into opposing factions
    cut, cutting
    the act of cutting something into parts
    atomisation, atomization, fragmentation
    separating something into fine particles
    branching, fork, forking, ramification
    the act of branching out or dividing into branches
    dichotomisation, dichotomization
    the act of dividing into two sharply different categories
    quantisation, quantization
    the act of dividing into quanta or expressing in terms of quantum theory
    separation into portions
    syllabication, syllabification
    forming or dividing words into syllables
    hyphenation, word division
    division of a word especially at the end of a line on a page
    the act of lacerating
    rent, rip, split
    the act of rending or ripping or splitting something
    abscission, cutting off
    the act of cutting something off
    the act of withdrawing or removing something
    the action of taking out something (especially using effort or force)
    spontaneous removal or casting off of a body part (as the tail of a lizard or claw of a lobster) especially when the organism is injured or under attack
    the removal of contaminants
    the act of deleting something written or printed
    baring, denudation, husking, stripping, uncovering
    the removal of covering
    removal of scars or tattoos by anesthetizing the skin surface and then sanding or scraping off some of the outer skin layer
    dislodgement, dislodgment
    forced removal from a position of advantage
    elimination, riddance
    the act of removing or getting rid of something
    the act of removing an unknown mathematical quantity by combining equations
    emptying, evacuation, voidance
    the act of removing the contents of something
    rinse, rinsing
    the removal of soap with clean water in the final stage of washing
    the act of subdividing; division of something previously divided
    the division or partitioning of a cavity into parts by a septum
    cut, cutting
    the division of a deck of cards before dealing
    disembowelment, evisceration
    the act of removing the bowels or viscera; the act of cutting so as to cause the viscera to protrude
    dividing an area into zones or sections reserved for different purposes such as residence and business and manufacturing etc
    the act of removing floating material from the surface of a liquid
    the act of taking out money or other capital
    the act of withdrawing blood, tumors, etc.
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    change of integrity
    the act of changing the unity or wholeness of something
  2. noun
    coming apart
    synonyms: breakup, detachment
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    breach, break, falling out, rift, rupture, severance
    a personal or social separation (as between opposing factions)
    the occurrence of breaking
    the formal separation of a church into two churches or the withdrawal of one group over doctrinal differences
    a sudden breaking
    type of:
    alteration, change, modification
    an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another
  3. noun
    the state of lacking unity
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    unification, union
    the state of being joined or united or linked
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    discreteness, distinctness, separateness, severalty
    the state of being several and distinct
    a state of separation between persons or groups
    lack of connection or continuity
    disconnectedness, disconnection, disjunction, disjuncture
    state of being disconnected
    the state of being unconnected in memory or imagination
    the state or situation of being alone
    purdah, solitude
    a state of social isolation
    loneliness, solitariness
    the state of being alone in solitary isolation
    enforced isolation of patients suffering from a contagious disease in order to prevent the spread of disease
    detachment, insularism, insularity, insulation
    the state of being isolated or detached
    alienation, estrangement
    separation resulting from hostility
    anomie, anomy
    personal state of isolation and anxiety resulting from a lack of social control and regulation
    concealment, privacy, privateness, secrecy
    the condition of being concealed or hidden
    the capability of being separated
    incoherence, incoherency
    lack of cohesion or clarity or organization
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    the way something is with respect to its main attributes
  4. noun
    the space where a division or parting occurs
    “he hid in the separation between walls”
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    type of:
    an area reserved for some particular purpose
  5. noun
    sorting one thing from others
    “the separation of wheat from chaff”
    “the separation of mail by postal zones”
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    the separation of grain or seeds from the husks and straw
    sifting, winnow, winnowing
    the act of separating grain from chaff
    type of:
    grouping by class or kind or size
  6. noun
    the distance between things
    “fragile items require separation and cushioning”
    synonyms: interval
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    the distance by which one thing clears another; the space between them
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    the property created by the space between two objects or points
  7. noun
    the social act of separating or parting company
    “the separation of church and state”
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    divorce, divorcement
    the legal dissolution of a marriage
    the act of secluding yourself from others
    closing off, isolation
    the act of isolating something; setting something apart from others
    segregation, sequestration
    the act of segregating or sequestering
    separationism, separatism
    advocacy of a policy of strict separation of church and state
    isolation to prevent the spread of infectious disease
    retreating to the seclusion of your home (as for privacy or escape)
    type of:
    group action
    action taken by a group of people
  8. noun
    (law) the cessation of cohabitation of man and wife (either by mutual agreement or under a court order)
    synonyms: legal separation
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    type of:
    cessation, surcease
    a stopping
  9. noun
    the termination of employment (by resignation or dismissal)
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    final result, outcome, result, resultant, termination
    something that results
Word Family

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