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separate - definition and synonyms


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verb separate pronunciation in British English /ˈsepəreɪt/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleseparating
past tenseseparated
past participleseparated
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  1. 1
    [transitive] to keep people or things apart from each other
    The army was called in to help separate the warring factions.
    separate someone from someone: The child may be separated from his mother while she receives treatment.
    1. a.
      [intransitive] to move apart and stop being connected to something
      separate from: As he pulled, the pipe separated from the wall and broke.
  2. 2
    [transitive] if something separates two people or things, it exists between them so that they are kept apart
    separate something from something: A large river separates the north of the city from the south.
    be separated by something: Their garden is separated from the factory by a tall fence.
    They are separated by thousands of miles.
  3. 3



    separate out

    [intransitive/transitive] to divide something, or become divided, into different parts
    The two issues need to be separated to discuss them fairly.
  4. 4
    [intransitive] to stop living with your husband, wife, or sexual partner
    Millie’s parents separated when she was three.
  5. 5



    separate out

    [transitive] to be the quality or detail that makes someone or something different from others
    separate someone/something from someone/something: This political skill separates him from other ultra-conservative politicians.
    1. a.
      to be the difference between the winner and the others in a competition
      Only three points separated the top two teams.


phrasal verbs


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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