separate Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “separate” in the English Dictionary

"separate" in British English

See all translations


uk   /ˈsep.ər.ət/  us   /-ɚ-/
B1 existing or ​happeningindependently or in a different ​physicalspace: The ​artdepartment and the ​musicdepartment are in two separate ​buildings. I ​try to keepmeat separate from other ​food in the ​fridge. I have my ​publiclife and my ​privatelife, and as ​far as ​possible I ​try to keep them separate. Three ​youths have been ​shot and ​killed in separate ​incidents this ​month.
More examples


uk   /ˈsep.ər.eɪt/  us   /-ə.reɪt/

separate verb (DIVIDE)

B2 [I or T] to (​cause to) ​divide into ​parts: The ​north and ​south of the ​country are separated by a ​mountainrange. You can get a ​specialdevice for separating ​eggwhites fromyolks. The ​top and ​bottomsections are ​quitedifficult to separate.
More examples

separate verb (MOVE APART)

B2 [I or T] to make ​peoplemoveapart or into different ​places, or to ​moveapart: At ​school they always ​tried to separate Jane and me because we were ​troublemakers. Somehow, in the ​rush to get out of the ​building, I got separated from my ​mother. Perhaps we should separate now and ​meet up ​later.


[T] to ​consider two ​people or things as different or not ​related: You can't separate ​morality frompolitics.

separate verb (LIQUID)

[I] If a ​liquid separates, it ​becomes two different ​liquids.

separate verb (RELATIONSHIP)

B2 [I] to ​start to ​live in a different ​place from ​yourhusband or ​wife because the ​relationship has ​ended: My ​parents separated when I was six and ​divorced a ​couple of ​yearslater.
(Definition of separate from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"separate" in American English

See all translations


 us   /ˈsep·ər·ət/
existing or ​happeningindependently or in a different ​physicalspace: The ​middleschool and the high ​school are in two separate ​buildings. I have my ​publiclife and my ​privatelife, and as ​far as ​possible I ​try to ​keep them separate.
adverb  us   /ˈsep·ər·ət·li/
You have to ​washdarkclothes and ​whitestuff separately.

separateverb [I/T]

 us   /ˈsep·əˌreɪt/
to ​cause two or more ​people or things to ​stop being with or near each other, or to be positioned between two or more things: [T] A six-foot-high ​wall separates ​ticketholders from those hoping to get ​tickets. [T] Fighting ​broke out between two ​hockeyplayers, and it took ​nearly five ​minutes to separate them. If two ​marriedpeople separate, they ​stopliving together as ​husband and ​wife, often as a ​part of a ​legalarrangement.
(Definition of separate from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"separate" in Business English

See all translations


uk   us   /ˈsepərət/
not together, ​joined, or ​connected: We ​realised that the best way to ​progress the ​project would be to set up a separate ​company. We have separate ​bankaccounts.separate from sth The ​assets of the ​fund will be ring-fenced, which ​means they will be ​kept separate from the rest of the ​fund.


uk   us   /ˈsepəreɪt/
[I or T] to ​divide into ​parts, or cause something to ​divide into ​parts: separate (sth) from sth They ​oppose the ​idea of Scotland separating from Britain.separate sth into sth We separated the workspace into ​cubicles using ​screens. separate a ​company/​business
[T] to consider two ​people or things as different or not ​connected: separate sth from sth These ​economic decisions cannot be separated from ​politics.separate sth and sth I ​find it difficult to separate ​home and ​business.
(Definition of separate from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Blogs about "separate"
What is the pronunciation of separate?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“separate” in American English

“separate” in Business English

Word of the Day

be nothing short of

used to emphasize a situation, quality, or type of behaviour

Word of the Day

Coffee culture
Coffee culture
by Colin McIntosh,
November 24, 2015
In a study published recently and widely reported in the media, researchers from Harvard University School of Public Health found that people who drink a moderate amount of coffee per day are less likely to die from a range of diseases. Good news for coffee drinkers, who make up an ever-increasing proportion

Read More 

climatarian adjective
climatarian adjective
November 23, 2015
choosing to eat a diet that has minimal impact on the climate, i.e. one that excludes food transported a long way or meat whose production gives rise to CO2 emissions Climate change is not normally on people’s minds when they choose what to have for lunch, but a new diet is calling for

Read More