PRONUNCIATION: (for 1: dee-KAH-layt, for 2: DEK-uh-layt)

MEANING: verb tr.:
1. To behead.
2. To separate sheets of paper, from a multiple-copy printout, for example.

ETYMOLOGY: For 1: From Latin decollare, from de- (from) + collum (neck). Earliest documented use: 1599.
For 2: From de- (from) + collate (to gather, merge, etc.), from conferre (to bring together). Earliest documented use: 1967.

NOTES: Sometimes the word decollate is used as an alternate spelling for the decollete (which is a short for decolletage: a low neckline on a woman’s dress). If your name is Chasity and you’re writing a romance novel (The Other Wife), any spelling is fine. But when you need to refer to a low neckline in a formal context -- an office memo, a research paper, a court brief, a patent application, etc. -- it’s best to go with decollete.

DECOLLAGE - to be expunged from the University records for inferior spelling

DE DOLL ATE - Raggedy Ann had dinner

DECOR LATE - the interior furnishings were only an afterthought