a. The act or process of moving apart or forcing something apart: the separation of continents from a single landmass; the separation of railroad cars from a train.
b. The condition of being apart, especially the condition of two people who had lived together or been married living in different places.
c. An interval or space that separates; a gap: The separation between the lead runner and the pack was getting longer.
a. The process of sorting or distinguishing into different components, groups, or categories: the gradual separation of the sciences into physical and biological.
b. The condition of being so sorted or distinguished: the unquestioned separation of labor by gender.
a. The voluntary cessation by spouses of cohabitation and other marital relations.
b. A formal legal severing of the relations between spouses that does not dissolve the marriage as in divorce.
c. In some jurisdictions, divorce.
4. Discharge, as from employment or military service.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.