: separation of individuals or groups and esp. racial groups compare desegregation
de facto segregation
: segregation of racial groups that arises as a result of economic, social, or other factors rather than by operation or enforcement of laws or other official state action
de jure segregation
: segregation intended or mandated by law or otherwise intentionally arising from state action NOTE: De jure segregation is illegal.
2 : separate confinement of prisoners within a penal institution
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.