• IPA: /ˈsɛp(ə)ɹətɪv/, /ˈsɛp(ə)ˌɹeɪtɪv/


  1. Serving to separate.
    • 1661, Robert Boyle, The Sceptical Chymist, London: J. Crooke, Part 1, pp. 98-99,
      […] that much more full and eminent Experiment of the Separative Virtue of extream Cold, that was made, against their Wills, by the […] Dutch men that Winter’d in Novaya Zemlya;
    • 1776, Oliver Goldsmith, A Survey of Experimental Philosophy, London: T. Carnan and F. Newbery, Volume 2, Book 3, Chapter 10, p. 364,
      We have hitherto only observed the colouring substance itself, we ought now to consider the preparation of the ground which receives it: to inquire how it comes that every object hath this separative power over the particles of light; how it imbibes one colour, while it copiously reflects another?
    • 1823, Charles Lamb, “Imperfect Sympathies” in Essays of Elia, Paris: Baudry’s European Library, 1835, p. 68,
      Jews christianizing—Christians judaizing—puzzle me. I like fish or flesh. A moderate Jew is a more confounding piece of anomaly than a wet Quaker. The spirit of the synagogue is essentially separative.
    • 1915, H. G. Wells, Bealby, London: Methuen, Chapter 8, § 1, p. 306,
      He concluded very naturally that the boy had come to some crisis in his unfortunate entanglement with Madeleine Philips, and he was flattered by the trustfulness that brought the matter to him. He resolved to be delicate but wily, honourable, strictly honourable, but steadily, patiently separative.
  2. (rare) Tending to keep oneself separate from others.
    • 1935, Warwick Deeping, “In a Little Belgian Town” in Two in a Train and Other Stories,
      Pye had never forgotten or forgiven the ingenious fraud. It had taught him secretiveness, made him even more lone and separative. He had withdrawn from the world of men, academic and otherwise.
    • 1938, Warwick Deeping, Malice of Men, New York: Knopf, Chapter 13,
      I was working hard, and living a rather separative existence, without realizing at the time what this aloofness meant for me.

separative (plural separatives)

  1. Something that serves to separate.
    • 1853, A. F. Lendy, The Principles of War, London: Parker, Furnivall, and Parker, “Strategy,” Chapter 4, p. 117,
      […] as for the distance between [the roads], it varies according to the strength of the army and the nature of the ground, the essential point being not to leave between them obstacles acting as separatives, such as rivers, &c.
    • 1916, Lewis Spence, Myths and Legends of Babylonia and Assyria, London: Harrap, Chapter 1, p. 62,
      He […] independently identified the oblique wedge as a separative of words [in cuneiform writing] […]

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