separate off from

separate off (from someone or something)

1. To split off, disconnect, or become isolated (from other people or things). My friends and I separated off from the tour group to look at a different exhibit on our own. The power unit keeps separating off. We'll need a new way to keep it attached to the machine.
2. To remove and isolate someone, something, or a group from one or more other people or things. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used either before or after "off." I had to separate the troublesome student off from the rest of the class. Please go through that huge stack of books and separate off the ones that you want to keep.
See also: off, separate, someone
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
It makes no sense to separate off from those nations who are working towards those ends, and pretend to share their values.
"Most of the army will separate off from the Assad troops to protect their people.
After 12 months the layers should be ready to separate off from the parent, and plant into permanent positions.