Meaning of SEPARATION in English


ˌsepəˈrāshən noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English separacion, from Middle French separation, from Latin separation-, separatio, from separatus (past participle of separare to separate) + -ion-, -io -ion — more at separate


a. : an act or instance of dividing : detachment , dispersal

separation of church and state

shipment of fragile or delicate articles … requires separation and cushioning of items — Export Packing

families … would face separation if they should avail themselves of the provisions of the Refugee Relief Act — D.D.Eisenhower

b. : arrangement of mail according to destination : sorting

after cancellation … trundled the letters on wheeled trays to the next process, separation — National Geographic

c. : burble 3

d. : separateness , segregation

courts and legislature work in separation and aloofness — B.N.Cardozo

we can no longer risk letting any large section of the human race live in separation , cut off from … the rest — I.A.Richards

e. : dissimilarity of character : difference , distinction

should not give the impression that there is … no great separation between the ends of Communism and those of the West — D.H.Gillis


a. : an act or instance of parting company

after the separation of the three boats … in the storm — W.J.Ghent


(1) : withdrawal from a parent body : secession , schism

personally loyal though he was … believed that separation was inevitable — T.M.Spaulding

(2) usually capitalized : a body of dissenters especially from an established church : separatists

one of the greatest of the early leaders of the Separation — George Willison

3. : isolation from a mixture : extraction

separation of flour from bran by bolting



(1) : cessation of cohabitation between husband and wife by mutual agreement ; especially : judicial separation

(2) canon law : annulment

b. : termination of a contractual relationship : resignation , discharge

separation from the service

separation from employment

a serious breach of accepted standards of deportment … may be punished by loss of social privileges, probation, or separation — College of William & Mary Cat.


a. : a point or line of division : demarcation

recommend that there be a clear line of separation — J.P.Colbert

b. : a cause or means of dividing : barrier , partition ; specifically : a compartment in a mail-sorting case

sorted 100 cards to 53 separations at the rate of 50 per minute — Postal Service News

c. : an intervening space : gap , interval

the separation between the spokes of a wheel

d. : the distance between the two parts of an originally continuous surface (as the top of a stratum) after dislocation by faulting — compare normal horizontal separation , perpendicular separation

6. : a method or result of dividing: as

a. : the propagation of plants by parts which are naturally or easily removed from the parent plant (as gladiolus corms, lily bulbels) — compare division 20

b. : color separation

c. : a batch of sorted mail

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.