Definition of separate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    separate

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈsepəreɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsepəreɪt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they separate
    BrE BrE//ˈsepəreɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsepəreɪt//
     
    he / she / it separates
    BrE BrE//ˈsepəreɪts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsepəreɪts//
     
    past simple separated
    BrE BrE//ˈsepəreɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsepəreɪtɪd//
     
    past participle separated
    BrE BrE//ˈsepəreɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsepəreɪtɪd//
     
    -ing form separating
    BrE BrE//ˈsepəreɪtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsepəreɪtɪŋ//
     
    Separation
     
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  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to divide into different parts or groups; to divide things into different parts or groups Stir the sauce constantly so that it does not separate. separate something Separate the eggs (= separate the yolk from the white). separate something from/and something It is impossible to separate belief from emotion. separate something into something Make a list of points and separate them into ‘desirable’ and ‘essential’.
  2. 2  [intransitive, transitive] to move apart; to make people or things move apart South America and Africa separated 200 million years ago. separate from something South America separated from Africa 200 million years ago. separate into something We separated into several different search parties. separate somebody/something Police tried to separate the two men who were fighting. The war separated many families. separate somebody/something from/and somebody/something Those suffering from infectious diseases were separated from the other patients.
  3. 3  [transitive] to be between two people, areas, countries, etc. so that they are not touching or connected separate somebody/something A thousand kilometres separates the two cities. separate somebody/something from/and somebody A high wall separated our back yard from the playing field.
  4. 4  [intransitive] to stop living together as a couple with your husband, wife or partner They separated last year. separate from somebody He separated from his wife after 20 years of marriage. CollocationsMarriage and divorceRomance fall/​be (madly/​deeply/​hopelessly) in love (with somebody) be/​believe in/​fall in love at first sight be/​find true love/​the love of your life suffer (from) (the pains/​pangs of) unrequited love have/​feel/​show/​express great/​deep/​genuine affection for somebody/​something meet/​marry your husband/​wife/​partner/​fiancé/fiancée/​boyfriend/​girlfriend have/​go on a (blind) date be going out with/(especially North American English) dating a guy/​girl/​boy/​man/​woman move in with/​live with your boyfriend/​girlfriend/​partnerWeddings get/​be engaged/​married/​divorced arrange/​plan a wedding have a big wedding/​a honeymoon/​a happy marriage have/​enter into an arranged marriage call off/​cancel/​postpone your wedding invite somebody to/​go to/​attend a wedding/​a wedding ceremony/​a wedding reception conduct/​perform a wedding ceremony exchange rings/​wedding vows/​marriage vows congratulate/​toast/​raise a glass to the happy couple be/​go on honeymoon (with your wife/​husband) celebrate your first (wedding) anniversarySeparation and divorce be unfaithful to/(informal) cheat on your husband/​wife/​partner/​fiancé/fiancée/​boyfriend/​girlfriend have an affair (with somebody) break off/​end an engagement/​a relationship break up with/​split up with/ (informal) dump your boyfriend/​girlfriend separate from/​be separated from/​leave/​divorce your husband/​wife annul/​dissolve a marriage apply for/​ask for/​go through/​get a divorce get/​gain/​be awarded/​have/​lose custody of the children pay alimony/​child support (to your ex-wife/​husband) See related entries: Separation
  5. 5[transitive] separate somebody/something (from somebody/something) to make somebody/something different in some way from somebody/something else synonym divide Politics is the only thing that separates us (= that we disagree about). Her lack of religious faith separated her from the rest of her family. The judges found it impossible to separate the two contestants (= they gave them equal scores). Only four points separate the top three teams.
  6. Word Familyseparate adjectiveseparately adverbseparable adjective (inseparable)separate verbseparated adjectiveseparation noun Word Origin late Middle English: from Latin separat- ‘disjoined, divided’, from the verb separare, from se- ‘apart’ + parare ‘prepare’.Extra examples A magnet separates out scrap iron from the rubbish. He had recently separated from his wife. I separated the documents into two piles. It was impossible to separate the rival fans. Mechanically separated meat made from cattle and sheep has now been banned. One cannot easily separate moral, social and political issues. She is separated from her husband. Slave parents were forcibly separated from their children. The boys are separated from the girls. The disciplines of science and engineering are not always sharply separated. The two groups became widely separated. These two branches of the science have now become clearly separated. an island resort totally separated from the mainland A high wall separated our block from the playing field. A thousand kilometres separate the two cities. First, separate the eggs. Politics is the only thing that separates us. The judges found it impossible to separate the two contestants. Two men separated from the others and walked towards me.Idioms
    separate/sort out the men from the boys
     
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    to show or prove who is brave, skilful, etc. and who is not
    sort out/separate the sheep from the goats
     
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    to distinguish people who are good at something, intelligent, etc. from those who are not See related entries: Farm animals
    sort out/separate the wheat from the chaff
     
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    to distinguish useful or valuable people or things from ones that are not useful or have no value We sifted through the application forms to separate the wheat from the chaff. See related entries: Crops
    Phrasal Verbsseparate out
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: separate