separate verb

1 move/keep people/things apart

ADV. completely, totally | carefully | clearly These two branches of the science have now become clearly separated. | effectively | easily, readily One cannot easily separate moral, social and political issues. | formally | legally | physically, spatially | out A magnet separates out scrap iron from the rubbish.

VERB + SEPARATE attempt to, try to | be difficult to, be hard to, be impossible to It was impossible to separate the rival fans.

PREP. from separating the boys from the girls | into I separated the documents into two piles.

PHRASES sharply separated The disciplines of science and engineering are not always sharply separated. | widely separated The two groups became widely separated.

2 stop living together

ADV. legally

VERB + SEPARATE decide to

PREP. from She is separated from her husband.