Pronunciation: ( —v.sep'u-rāt"; —adj., n.sep'ur-it),[key] —v.,-rat•ed, -rat•ing, —adj., n.
—v.t. 1. to keep apart or divide, as by an intervening barrier or space: to separate two fields by a fence. 2. to put, bring, or force apart; part: to separate two fighting boys. 3. to set apart; disconnect; dissociate: to separate church and state. 4. to remove or sever from association, service, etc., esp. legally or formally: He was separated from the army right after V-E Day. 5. to sort, part, divide, or disperse (an assemblage, mass, compound, etc.), as into individual units, components, or elements.
6. to take by parting or dividing; extract (usually fol. by from or out): to separate metal from ore. 7. Math.to write (the variables of a differential equation) in a form in which the differentials of the independent and dependent variables are, respectively, functions of these variables alone: We can separate the variables to solve the equation. Cf. separation of variables.
—v.i. 1. to part company; withdraw from personal association (often fol. by from): to separate from a church. 2. (of a married pair) to stop living together but without getting a divorce.
3. to draw or come apart; become divided, disconnected, or detached.
4. to become parted from a mass or compound: Cream separates from milk. 5. to take or go in different directions: We have to separate at the crossroad.
—adj. 1. detached, disconnected, or disjoined.
2. unconnected; distinct; unique: two separate questions. 3. being or standing apart; distant or dispersed: two separate houses; The desert has widely separate oases. 4. existing or maintained independently: separate organizations. 5. individual or particular: each separate item. 6. not shared; individual or private: separate checks; separate rooms. 7. (sometimes cap.) noting or pertaining to a church or other organization no longer associated with the original or parent organization.
—n. 1. Usually, separates. women's outer garments that may be worn in combination with a variety of others to make different ensembles, as matching and contrasting blouses, skirts, and sweaters.
2. offprint (def. 1).
3. a bibliographical unit, as an article, chapter, or other portion of a larger work, printed from the same type but issued separately, sometimes with additional pages.