sever

verb
sev·​er | \ ˈse-vər How to pronounce sever (audio) \
severed; severing\ ˈsev-​riŋ How to pronounce severing (audio) , ˈse-​və-​ \

Definition of sever

transitive verb

: to put or keep apart : divide especially : to remove (something, such as a part) by or as if by cutting

intransitive verb

: to become separated

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Choose the Right Synonym for sever

separate, part, divide, sever, sunder, divorce mean to become or cause to become disunited or disjointed. separate may imply any of several causes such as dispersion, removal of one from others, or presence of an intervening thing. separated her personal life from her career part implies the separating of things or persons in close union or association. vowed never to part divide implies separating into pieces or sections by cutting or breaking. civil war divided the nation sever implies violence especially in the removal of a part or member. a severed limb sunder suggests violent rending or wrenching apart. a city sundered by racial conflict divorce implies separating two things that commonly interact and belong together. cannot divorce scientific research from moral responsibility

Examples of sever in a Sentence

He severed the lowest tree limbs. His finger was severed in the accident. Activists are asking the government to sever all diplomatic relations with the country.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Bricolage severed ties with the Scholars First Transportation company last December after a student was physically attacked by a bus driver. nola.com, "Bricolage Academy founder Josh Densen to step down as CEO," 12 June 2019 The crash severed one of the wheels from the motorcycle. oregonlive.com, "Motorcycle crashes into deputy’s patrol car in Clackamas County (video)," 7 June 2019 Beyond Kylie, the rest of the Kardashian-Jenner family has reportedly severed all ties with Woods. Stacey Leasca, Allure, "Kylie Jenner and Jordyn Woods Are Reportedly Hanging Out Again," 10 Mar. 2019 Their bid comes on the heels of a decision by a competitor, McKinsey & Company, to sever ties with the immigration agency after employees raised questions about the work. Michael Forsythe, New York Times, "Employees Call on Deloitte to Stop Working With ICE," 12 July 2018 Other states have allowed mineral rights to be severed from surface rights. Sara Sneath, NOLA.com, "As Louisiana's coast washes away, state cashing in on disputed oil and gas rights," 31 May 2018 In fact, his next victim did have one of her earlobes severed. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Were the Jack the Ripper Letters Fabricated by Journalists?," 2 Feb. 2018 However, later investigations revealed that the cabin had been severed from the shuttle and projected free of the fireball, and that the crew had briefly survived. Margaret Lazarus Dean, Popular Mechanics, "The Oral History of the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster," 28 Jan. 2019 The casino giant Wynn Resorts has effectively severed ties with namesake Steve Wynn, its founder and former chief executive, who will no longer be part of the company’s Massachusetts casino license, state regulators announced Monday. Mark Arsenault, BostonGlobe.com, "Wynn Resorts has severed connection to Steve Wynn, state confirms," 7 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sever.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sever

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for sever

Middle English, from Anglo-French severer, from Latin separare — more at separate

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Statistics for sever

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sever

The first known use of sever was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for sever

sever

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sever

: to cut off (something) : to remove or separate (something) by cutting
: to end (a relationship, connection, etc.) completely

sever

verb
sev·​er | \ ˈse-vər How to pronounce sever (audio) \
severed; severing

Kids Definition of sever

: to cut off … the sword … severed the tip of his tail.— Brian Jacques, Redwall
sev·​er | \ ˈse-vər How to pronounce sever (audio) \
severed; severing

Legal Definition of sever

1 : to end (a joint tenancy) by ending one or all of the unities of time, title, possession, or interest (as by conveying one tenant's interest to another party)
2 : to separate (as a contract) into different parts (as independent obligations) in order to treat each separately
3a : to try (criminal offenses or defendants) separately in order to avoid prejudice
b : to split (a criminal trial) into multiple trials in order to avoid prejudice
c : to try (civil claims or issues pleaded in the same case) separately

Other Words from sever

severance \ ˈse-​vrəns, -​və-​rens How to pronounce severance (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on sever

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sever

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sever

Spanish Central: Translation of sever

Nglish: Translation of sever for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sever for Arabic Speakers

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