Definition of separable in English:



  • 1Able to be separated or treated separately.

    ‘body and soul are not separable’
    • ‘The parts are of course separable and debatable.’
    • ‘In fact, social status throughout Polynesia had two quite distinct and separable aspects to it.’
    • ‘Technical limits relate to the extent to which services are separable from the core activities of the firm in question.’
    • ‘Legality and enforcement are to some substantial degree separable - here more than in the criminal law, I would suggest.’
    • ‘However, in practice, the roles of Commissioners on the one hand and of the services on the other are not as separable or as distinguishable as these provisions of the Code imply.’
    • ‘This approach may work well enough on domestic issues where the goodies - tax credits, Social Security checks, new schools, lower insurance premiums - are concrete and separable.’
    • ‘These two areas of contention were distinct from each other, but not really separable.’
    • ‘He has come out of his own story; and this is perhaps the best definition that can be offered of a great literary character: that he becomes a separable being.’
    • ‘But in reality they are not separable from other aspects of the mind.’
    • ‘Property rights are not separable from an action.’
    • ‘We are fond of separating style and content but they aren't separable: they come from the same place.’
    • ‘My views on her actual politics should be easily separable from my views on her worth as an engaged citizen, just as my feelings about the righteousness of her current gaol term should be separable from my views about her political fate.’
    • ‘But this doesn't look like the world of presidential elections, where there are many separable policy dimensions: economic liberty, personal liberty, foreign policy, and so on.’
    • ‘The production of academic knowledge in American universities was never separable from the overall social, political, and economic requirements of the American state.’
    • ‘Or do they perhaps have agendas that are as complex, diverse and separable from their sexuality as women, gun owners or Christians, for that matter?’
    • ‘If attitudes and behavior are not clearly separable, they do not satisfy the criterion of independence between causes and effects that is a fundamental, assumption of scientific explanation.’
    • ‘The institutions and mechanisms of governance of African states are often no longer separable from the international mechanisms of governance with which they are engaged.’
    • ‘With older forms of communication, generic information, such as addresses on envelopes or telephone numbers, is separable from content, such as letters and telephone conversations.’
    • ‘I argue that Christianity and conservatism are indeed thoroughly separable.’
    • ‘But there is another factor and that's why I think it's quite important to be able to look at Maori mental health as a distinctive problem that is separable from socio-economic disadvantage.’
    divisible, distinguishable, distinct, independent
    View synonyms
  • 2Grammar
    (of a verb) having a prefix that is written as a separate word in some circumstances.

    1. 2.1 (of an English phrasal verb) allowing the insertion of the direct object between the base verb and the particle, e.g. look it over as opposed to go over it.


Late Middle English: from Latin separabilis, from separare ‘disjoin, divide’ (see separate).