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separation (n.)

c. 1400, from Old French separacion (Modern French séparation), from Latin separationem (nominative separatio) noun of action from past participle stem of separare "to pull apart," from se- "apart" (see secret (n.)) + parare "make ready, prepare" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure").

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.

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Definitions of separation from WordNet

separation (n.)
the state of lacking unity;
separation (n.)
coming apart;
Synonyms: breakup / detachment
separation (n.)
the distance between things;
fragile items require separation and cushioning
Synonyms: interval
separation (n.)
sorting one thing from others;
the separation of wheat from chaff
the separation of mail by postal zones
separation (n.)
the social act of separating or parting company;
the separation of church and state
separation (n.)
the space where a division or parting occurs;
he hid in the separation between walls
separation (n.)
the termination of employment (by resignation or dismissal);
separation (n.)
(law) the cessation of cohabitation of man and wife (either by mutual agreement or under a court order);
Synonyms: legal separation
separation (n.)
the act of dividing or disconnecting;
From wordnet.princeton.edu