Have you ever had a secret that you want to keep away from someone? Or severed something from something else? Or even selected something? Then you have used words that stem from the root word se, meaning to keep something apart.

Root words are extremely important to know about when studying a language because they can help you to understand many words at one time, and think critically about what these words truly mean. If you’re learning a new language and know some Greek or Latin root words, you may be able to figure out (guess the context) the meaning of the word, even if you’ve never seen it before, because you can identify its root.

This week, we’re focusing on the root word se which means “apart”. Below we’ve listed some words that share this root word, along with definitions from Merriam-Webster, as well as examples to help you along your way.

For more on root words, check out our blogs on the root word err and the root word ject.

Words Using the Root Word Se

Security: (n) freedom from danger, freedom from fear or anxiety

For example:

  • In order to keep the jewels safe, they were stored under heavy security.
  • The security guard stood outside the museum all day to make sure everyone was safe.

Seclusion: (n) closed away or isolated from others

For example:

  • Monks traditionally enjoy seclusion, in order to focus on prayer or meditation.
  • She loves to go walking in a secluded place, because she feels it helps her to focus.

Secede: (v) to withdraw from an organization

For example:

  • During the Civil War, West Virginia seceded from Virginia to join the North.
  • Once in a while, states will threaten to secede when they don’t agree with what the government does.

Segregate: (v) to separate or set apart from others or from the general mass

For example:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. helped to end segregation in the South.
  • The scientist kept the samples segregated so that they didn’t contaminate each other.

Secret: (adj) something kept hidden or unexplained

For example:

  • I’m going to propose to Mary on Saturday, but please don’t tell her. It’s a secret!
  • He’s not very good at keeping secrets, so don’t tell him something you don’t want everyone to know.

Seduce: (v) to lead astray, usually by persuasion or false promises

For example:

  • In the Star Wars movies, Darth Vader was seduced by the powers of the Dark Side.
  • Sometimes I think that commercials and ads try to seduce us into a certain lifestyle.

Sever: (v) to put or keep apart, divide, or to remove something as if by cutting

For example:

  • I had to sever ties with him because I didn’t like how my personality changed when I was around him.
  • Butchers have to sever different cuts of meat from the bone.

Separate: (v) to set or keep apart, or to keep a distinction between two or more things

For example:

  • We needed to separate the children in class because they kept talking.
  • My child keeps all their food on their plate separate, since they don’t like their food to touch.

Secretion: (n) the production of a liquid by part of a plant or animal

For example:

  • The secretions of this plant can irritate the skin, so be careful!
  • If you notice a weird secretion somewhere on your body, you should go to the hospital.

Select: (v) to choose from a number or group, to pick out

For example:

  • She was selected to be principal from among many different candidates.
  • You can select one toy at the store, since you were so good at the doctor.

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Can you think of any other words with the root word se? Share them with us in the comments below!

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Check out these other popular blogs: Taboo words in English, 7 Synonyms for Being Drunk, 7 American English Slang Words, or these Sports Idioms used in English!

Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and is a very good secret keeper- don’t worry, you can select her without worry! Trust me! 

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