9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[sep-uh-rey-shuh n] /ˌsɛp əˈreɪ ʃən/
an act or instance of separating or the state of being separated.
a place, line, or point of parting.
a gap, hole, rent, or the like.
something that separates or divides.
  1. cessation of conjugal cohabitation, as by mutual consent.
  2. judicial separation.
Aerospace. the time or act of releasing a burned-out stage of a rocket or missile from the remainder.
Photography, separation negative.
Origin of separation
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin sēparātiōn- (stem of sēparātiō), equivalent to sēparāt(us) separate + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
nonseparation, noun
preseparation, noun
reseparation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for separation
  • The solution: add more of a delay after the first-stage engine stops firing before separation to ensure a clean break.
  • It does not provide for separation of church and baseball.
  • Visits now entailed six hours and a stopover in each direction, and the separation felt completely unfair.
  • He may even have accepted the likelihood of separation.
  • Voila, two images of the same subject with slight separation.
  • There is some psychological separation from the street, yet it feels neighborly.
  • Both sides generally waive any claims about remarks made up to the time they actually sign the separation agreement.
  • If they did marry, they were at high risk for divorce or separation.
  • Speciation occurs due to geographic separation which prevents interbreeding over time.
  • Or rather, it is four conjoined thumb-drives, perforated for easy separation.
British Dictionary definitions for separation


the act of separating or state of being separated
the place or line where a separation is made
a gap that separates
(family law) the cessation of cohabitation between a man and wife, either by mutual agreement or under a decree of a court Compare judicial separation, divorce
  1. the act of jettisoning a burnt-out stage of a multistage rocket
  2. the instant at which such a stage is jettisoned
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for separation

c.1400, from Old French separacion (Modern French séparation), from Latin separationem (nominative separatio) noun of action from past participle stem of separare (see separate (v.)). Specific sense of "sundering of a married couple" is attested from c.1600. Sense in photography is from 1922. Separation of powers first recorded 1788, in "Federalist" (Hamilton), from French séparée de la puissance (Montesquieu, 1748). Separation anxiety first attested 1943.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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