Etymology
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separation (n.)

c. 1400, separacioun, "a severing, detaching, cutting apart, act of removing or disconnecting one thing from another," from Old French separacion (Modern French séparation) and directly 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"). Alternative separateness (1650s) tends to hold to the meaning "distinct character or state, fact of being separate."

The specific sense of "sundering of a married couple, limited divorce" (without dissolution of the marriage tie) is attested from c. 1600. Sense in printing in reference to proportionate monochrome representations of a color photograph   is from 1922.

Separation of powers is attested by 1792, from French séparée de la puissance (Montesquieu, 1748). The idea was discussed in several places in "The Federalist" (1788), but not in that exact phrase (e.g. separation of the departments of power, No. 81). In psychology, the child's separation anxiety is attested from 1943.

updated on May 09, 2022

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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, not affiliated with etymonline.