separate

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under separate cover

old fashioned In a separate correspondence. This letter serves only as a receipt of your application—we shall send you our decision under separate cover after it has been reviewed.
See also: cover, separate

go (one's) separate ways

1. To part from someone else's company. Once we got back to the first floor, Phil and I went our separate ways to our respective offices.
2. To end a relationship with someone. My boyfriend and I went our separate ways because he wanted to get married, and I didn't.
See also: separate, way

separate the sheep from the goats

To separate the good from the bad. In this Biblical phrase, sheep represent the good and goats the bad. When you choose the students for your homeroom, don't separate the sheep from the goats and give me all the troublemakers!
See also: goat, separate, sheep

separate the wheat from the chaff

To separate the good or valuable from that which is inferior. Can you please separate the wheat from the chaff? I have no idea which of these old tools still work.
See also: chaff, separate, wheat

separate the men from the boys

To distinguish or separate the experienced, competent, or strong participants from those who are not. We've had some easy games so far in the season, but this next one is going to separate the men from the boys. This is a business that separates the men from the boys—don't get involved unless you have what it takes.
See also: boy, men, separate

sort out the men from the boys

To distinguish or separate the experienced, competent, or strong participants from those who are not. We've had some easy games so far in the season, but this next one is going to sort out the men from the boys. This is a business that sorts out the men from the boys—don't get involved unless you have what it takes.
See also: boy, men, out, sort

segregate (someone) from (someone else)

 and segregate (something) from (something else)
to separate someone from someone else or something from something else. I was asked to segregate the swimmers from the nonswimmers. Let's segregate the larger fish from the smaller ones.
See also: segregate

separate but equal

segregated but of equal value or quality. (A doctrine once sanctioned by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding racial segregation.) The separate but equal doctrine was abandoned years ago. They were provided with facilities that were said to be separate but equalbut were really of a lower standard.
See also: but, equal, separate

separate off (from something)

to move or head away from something. The road to the cabin separates off from the main road and goes along for a mile or two. It separates off about a mile from here.
See also: off, separate

separate someone from (someone else)

 and separate something from something else
to segregate people or things. The nurse separated the infected people from the healthy ones. Please separate the spoiled apples from the good ones.
See also: separate

separate someone or something into something

to divide people or things into subdivisions. We had to separate the kids into smaller groups. Jane separated the apples into three groups by size.
See also: separate

separate something from something else Go to separate someone from someone

else.
See also: else, separate

separate something off from something

 and separate something off
to remove something from something. Frank separated the cream off from the milk. Separate off the hens from the rooster.
See also: off, separate

separate something out of something

 and separate something out
to remove something out from something. She used a filter to separate the dirt particles out of the water. A filter separated out the impurities.
See also: of, out, separate

separate the men from the boys

 and separate the sheep from the goats
Fig. to separate the competent from those who are less competent. (Not necessarily just about males.) This is the kind of task that separates the men from the boys. Working in a challenging place like this really separates the sheep from the goats.
See also: boy, men, separate

separate the wheat from the chaff

Prov. to separate what is useful or valuable from what is worthless. When it comes to books, time will separate the wheat from the chaff. Good books will have lasting appeal, and the rest will be forgotten. The managers hoped that the new procedure for evaluating employees would separate the wheat from the chaff.
See also: chaff, separate, wheat

separate but equal

Relating to or affected by a policy whereby two groups may be segregated if they are given equal facilities and opportunities. For example, They've divided up the physical education budget so that the girls' teams are separate but equal to the boys . This idiom comes from a Louisiana law of 1890, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson, "requiring all railway companies carrying passengers on their trains in this state, to provide equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races." Subsequently it was widely used to separate African-Americans from the white population through a general policy of racial segregation. In 1954, in a unanimous ruling to end school segregation, the Supreme Court finally overturned the law (in Brown v. Board of Education).
See also: but, equal, separate

separate the men from the boys

Distinguish between mature, experienced individuals and novices, as in The picket line will separate the men from the boys in the union. The idiom is used without respect to gender. [c. 1930]
See also: boy, men, separate

separate the sheep from the goats

Distinguish between good and bad individuals, or superior and inferior ones. For example, In a civil war where both sides commit atrocities, you can't separate the sheep from the goats . This term refers to Jesus's prophecy in the New Testament (Matthew 25:32) that the sheep (that is, the compassionate) will sit on God's right hand (and find salvation), and the goats (the hard-hearted) will sit on the left (and be sent to damnation).
See also: goat, separate, sheep

separate wheat from chaff

Sort the valuable from the worthless, as in I hope we'll get a preview of the auction so we can separate the wheat from the chaff. This idiom alludes to the ancient practice of winnowing grain.
See also: chaff, separate, wheat

separate the wheat from the chaff

or

separate the grain from the chaff

If you separate the wheat from the chaff or separate the grain from the chaff, you decide which things or people in a group are good or necessary, and which are not. The first two rounds of the contest separate the wheat from the chaff. Judges should not forget that when you separate the wheat from the chaff, you should try to keep the wheat. Note: You can use sort or sort out instead of separate. It's up to Wilkinson to sort out the wheat from the chaff and get the team back to the top of the table. Note: You can refer to the good or necessary things or people in a group as wheat or grain, and to the others as chaff. There's so little wheat in all this chaff. Was there rather less grain than chaff? Note: `Chaff' refers to the outer covers of wheat or other cereal which are separated from the grain by a process called winnowing. In the Bible (Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17), John the Baptist uses the image of someone separating the wheat from the chaff to describe how Jesus will separate those who go to heaven from those who go to hell.
See also: chaff, separate, wheat

sort out the men from the boys

or

separate the men from the boys

If a difficult situation or competition sorts out the men from the boys or separates the men from the boys, it tests people and shows who is strong and capable and who is not. This is the game that will sort out the men from the boys. It is absolutely vital to win the replay and get to the final.
See also: boy, men, out, sort

separate the sheep from the goats

or

sort out the sheep from the goats

If you separate the sheep from the goats or sort out the sheep from the goats, you examine a group of things or people and decide which are good and which are bad. It is getting harder and harder to sort out the sheep from the goats among the 4,000 or so titles for children that are published every year. Testing exists to separate the sheep from the goats. Note: The Bible says that on the Day of Judgment, Jesus will divide his sheep from the goats. The sheep represent those who are going to heaven, and the goats represent those who are going to hell. (Matthew 25:32)
See also: goat, separate, sheep

separate (or sort out) the men from the boys

show or prove which people in a group are truly competent, brave, or mature.
1968 House & Garden The Dry Martini…is a drink that will quickly separate the men from the boys and the girls from their principles.
See also: boy, men, separate

go your separate ways

1 leave in a different direction from someone with whom you have just travelled or spent time. 2 end a romantic, professional, or other relationship.
See also: separate, way

separate the sheep from the goats

divide people or things into superior and inferior groups.
This expression alludes to the parable of the Last Judgement in Matthew 25:32–3: ‘And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left’.
See also: goat, separate, sheep

separate (or sort) the wheat from the chaff

distinguish valuable people or things from worthless ones.
Chaff is the husks of corn or other seed separated out when the grain is winnowed or threshed. The metaphorical contrast between wheat and chaff is drawn in several passages in the Bible, for example in Matthew 3:12: ‘he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire’.
See also: chaff, separate, wheat

sort out/separate the ˌmen from the ˈboys

show or prove who is brave, skilful, etc. and who is not: OK everybody, today we’re going to do a physical fitness test, which will soon sort out the men from the boys!
See also: boy, men, out, separate, sort

go your separate ˈways

(of two or more people) stop seeing each other socially, because you are living in different places, doing different jobs, etc: After school we went our separate ways.
See also: separate, way

sort out/separate the ˌsheep from the ˈgoats

separate the good people from the bad people: The exams at the end of the first year usually separate the sheep from the goats.This comes from the belief that on Judgement Day (= the day the world ends) God will judge everybody who ever lived and decide who was good (= the sheep) and who was bad (= the goats).
See also: goat, out, separate, sheep, sort

sort out/separate the ˌwheat from the ˈchaff

separate people or things of a better quality from those of a lower quality: When all the applications came in, our first task was to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Chaff is the outer covering of the seeds of grain such as wheat, which is separated from the grain before it is used.
See also: chaff, out, separate, sort, wheat
References in periodicals archive ?
Larger items such as OCC boxes continue to be sorted and separated by people at picking stations along the conveyor belt or by a grapple operator on the tipping floor.
71-1(b)(2)(i), which defines the written separation agreement, says in part "if the wife is divorced or legally separated subsequent to the written separation agreement, payments made under such agreement continue to fall within the provisions of section 71(a)(2)"
With VSAN trunking strategies, storage administrators can also consolidate previously separated physical inter-switch links (ISLs) over a single shared connection or set of connections.
There is no market currently for the separated plastics in the U.
Rather than spirituality and sexuality being unified to overcome human isolation, we have separated them into independent functions with separate expressions.
University of California, Los Angeles, doctors say it so extremely rare for twins to be born joined at the skull and then be separated that it is nearly impossible to say what is emotionally ``normal'' for them.
Mechanically separated meat is a paste produced by compressing carcasses, much like a used car is crushed into a dense block of metal," he explains.
When this experiment was first conducted by the black psychologist Kenneth Clark in 1940, it showed that black children were more likely to dislike their own color if they lived in places where schools were segregated, or separated, by race.
He reported a case in which an infection may have contributed to the speciation that separated two Nasonia wasps.
Specifically, the FBCS income provision was adopted in 1962 because of congressional concern about the use of a selling subsidiary that has been separated from manufacturing activities of a related corporation merely to obtain a lower rate of tax for the sales income.
Sometimes conjoined twins can be separated after birth.
A small number of companies has traditionally separated the chairman and the CEO positions.
With Steam-Away, multiple pieces of continuously knitted items such as collars, cuffs and trim can be separated automatically.
With an efficient shakeout, the mold is broken up, the castings and sand are separated, and mold lumps are reduced in size.
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