Definition of separation in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌsepəˈrāSH(ə)n/


1The action or state of moving or being moved apart: the damage that might arise from the separation of parents and children
More example sentences
  • The researchers speculated that separation from parents might hinder the chances of forming intimate relationships as an adult.
  • The desert landscape is associated in the poetry with elopement, hardship, separation from lover or parents.
  • The film taps into one of the most basic primal fears of childhood: separation from one's parents.
disconnection, detachment, severance, dissociation, disunion, disaffiliation, segregation, partition
1.1The state in which a couple remain married but live apart: legal grounds for divorce or separation she and her husband have agreed to a trial separation See also legal separation (sense 1).
More example sentences
  • Moreover, he had just completed the purchase of the new family house, which is not readily consistent with an extended trial separation.
  • I was asked to determine the value of the wife's pension and the husband's entitlement to a credit for payment of the wife's debt after separation.
  • At the time of separation the wife had not worked outside the home for 17 years.
2The division of something into constituent or distinct elements: prose structured into short sentences with meaningful separation into paragraphs
More example sentences
  • This finding was the basis for separation into the 2 groups.
  • Elliott's thematic gear shifting and tempo changing make the album's separation into eight tracks largely beside the point.
  • This genetic separation into two groups was also clear when working with the complete set of 306 plants.
2.1The process of distinguishing between two or more things: religion involved the separation of the sacred and the profane the constitution imposed a clear separation between church and state
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  • He said there must be absolute separation between the decision-making process in planning and those who stood to gain from the decisions.
  • Neither banishment of religion from the society nor a rigid wall of separation between religion and the State underlies the concept of secularism in India and elsewhere in the East.
  • There is no separation between the sacred and the profane, because there are no profane objects in this Universe.
2.2The process of sorting and then extracting or removing a specified substance for use or rejection.
Example sentences
  • By this process, a highly efficient separation of substances can be achieved.
  • If any metal complexation route to produce ethylene is ever going to succeed commercially, olefin separation needs to compare favourably with cryogenics.
  • This processing may include distillation or other methods or separation or purification that may be necessary to be applied before they are of usable form.
2.3 short for color separation.
Example sentences
  • You may ask why I use CMYK separation rather than the more normal CMY.
2.4 (also stereo separation) Distinction or difference between the signals carried by the two channels of a stereophonic system.
Example sentences
  • Actually, while this is a nice mix it does display a few inconstancies in the way of dynamic range and channel separation.
  • Sound wise, the Dolby Digital Stereo offers no real channel separation and the aural palette is so limited that there is no real chance at creating ambiance or atmosphere.
  • The audio is presented in what appears to be Dolby Stereo, although there is next to no channel separation and the final result is indistinguishable from a mono track.
2.5 Physics & Aeronautics The generation of a turbulent boundary layer between the surface of a body and a moving fluid, or between two fluids moving at different speeds.
Example sentences
  • His work on separation of the boundary layer was summarised in the Von Neumann lecture he gave to the American Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 1980.
  • This is the first time that a fluid bilayer/fluid isotropic DAG phase separation within the bilayer is directly observed.
  • The optical measurement of surface separation is based on thin-film interferometry.


separation of powers

An act of vesting the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of government in separate bodies.
Example sentences
  • The constitutionality of the legislation is suspect and potentially breaches the separation of powers.
  • The Australian Constitution, with its more rigorous separation of powers, prevents our common law changing in the same direction.
  • It actually gave rise to and provided justification for the principle of separation of powers in the establishment of our republic.


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin separatio(n-), from separare 'disjoin, divide' (see separate).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sep·a·ra·tion

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