verb (used with object), seg·re·gat·ed, seg·re·gat·ing.
- to separate or set apart from others or from the main body or group; isolate: to segregate exceptional children; to segregate hardened criminals.
- to require, by law or custom, the separation of (an ethnic, racial, religious, or other minority group) from the dominant majority.
verb (used without object), seg·re·gat·ed, seg·re·gat·ing.
- to separate, withdraw, or go apart; separate from the main body and collect in one place; become segregated.
- to practice, require, or enforce segregation, especially racial segregation.
- Genetics. (of allelic genes) to separate during meiosis.
- a segregated thing, person, or group.
- to set or be set apart from others or from the main group
- (tr) to impose segregation on (a racial or minority group)
- genetics metallurgy to undergo or cause to undergo segregation
v.1540s, from Latin segregatus, past participle of segregare “set apart, lay aside; isolate; divide,” literally “separate from the flock,” from *se gregare, from se “apart from” (see secret (n.)) + grege, ablative of grex “herd, flock” (see gregarious). Originally often with reference to the religious notion of separating the flock of the godly from sinners. In modern social context, “to force or enforce racial separation and exclusion,” 1908. Related: Segregated; segregating.