See also: Separation and séparation


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Attested in the 15th Century C.E.; from Middle English separacioun, from Old French separacion, from Latin separatio, separationem. Morphologically separate +‎ -ion


  • IPA(key): /sɛpəˈɹeɪʃən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪʃən


separation (countable and uncountable, plural separations)

  1. The act of disuniting two or more things, or the condition of being separated.
    Synonyms: detachment, disjunction, division, rupture, severance; see also Thesaurus:separation
    Antonyms: annexation, combination, unification; see also Thesaurus:junction
  2. The act or condition of two or more people being separated from one another.
    • 1855, Frederick Douglass, chapter 19, in My Bondage and My Freedom, New York: Miller, Orton and Mulligan:
      We were a band of brothers, and never dearer to each other than now. The thought which gave us the most pain, was the probable separation which would now take place, in case we were sold off to the far south, as we were likely to be.
    • 2007, Hamid, Mohsin, chapter 10, in The Reluctant Fundamentalist[1], Orlando: Harcourt, page 141:
      [] my longing for her was undiminished despite our months of near-complete separation.
  3. The act or condition of a married couple living in separate homes while remaining legally married.
    • 1839, Dickens, Charles, chapter 44, in Nicholas Nickleby[2]:
      ‘If he dares to refuse me a separation, I’ll have one in law—I can—and I hope this will be a warning to all girls who have seen this disgraceful exhibition.’
    • 1993, Shields, Carol, chapter 8, in The Stone Diaries[3], Toronto: Vintage, published 1994, page 302:
      [] she [knows] her great-aunt’s concern over her son Warren, his two divorces, and now Alice’s bitter separation from her husband, Ben.
    1. (law) An agreement legalizing such an arrangement.
      Synonym: divorce from bed and board
      • 1874, Hardy, Thomas, chapter 52, in Far from the Madding Crowd[4], section 7:
        I should have gone back to her the day after the fair, if it hadn't been for you talking about the law, and rubbish about getting a separation;
      • 1936, Mitchell, Margaret, chapter 63, in Gone with the Wind[5], part 5, New York: Macmillan, published 1964:
        “You are deserting me?”
        “Don’t be the neglected, dramatic wife, Scarlett. The rôle isn’t becoming. I take it, then, you do not want a divorce or even a separation? Well, then, I’ll come back often enough to keep gossip down.”
  4. The place at which a division occurs.
    Synonyms: border, boundary, demarcation
  5. An interval, gap or space that separates things or people.
    Synonyms: break, interstice; see also Thesaurus:interspace
  6. An object that separates two spaces.
    Synonyms: barrier, separator
    • 1847, Brontë, Charlotte, chapter 23, in Jane Eyre[8]:
      [The orchard] was full of trees, it bloomed with flowers: a very high wall shut it out from the court, on one side; on the other, a beech avenue screened it from the lawn. At the bottom was a sunk fence; its sole separation from lonely fields:
  7. (military) Departure from active duty, while not necessarily leaving the service entirely.

Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit






From Latin separatio



separation c

  1. a separation


Declension of separation 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative separation separationen separationer separationerna
Genitive separations separationens separationers separationernas