verb (used with object)
- to separate (a part) from the whole, as by cutting or the like.
- to divide into parts, especially forcibly; cleave.
- to break off or dissolve (ties, relations, etc.).
- Law. to divide into parts; disunite (an estate, titles of a statute, etc.).
- to distinguish; discriminate between.
verb (used without object)
- to become separated from each other; become divided into parts.
- to put or be put apart; separate
- to divide or be divided into parts
- (tr) to break off or dissolve (a tie, relationship, etc)
v.c.1300, from Anglo-French severer, Old French sevrer “to separate” (12c., later in French restricted to “to wean,” i.e. “to separare from the mother”), from Vulgar Latin *seperare, from Latin separare “to separate” (see separate (v.)).