sev·er·al | \ ˈsev-rəl , ˈse-və- \

Definition of several 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : separate or distinct from one another federal union of the several states

b(1) : individually owned or controlled : exclusive a several fishery — compare common

(2) : of or relating separately to each individual involved a several judgment

c : being separate and distinctive : respective specialists in their several fields

2a : more than one several pleas

b : more than two but fewer than many moved several inches

c chiefly dialectal : being a great many

Definition of several (Entry 2 of 2)

: an indefinite number more than two and fewer than many several of the guests

Examples of several in a Sentence


It took several days for the package to arrive. He arrived several hours ago. We added several more names to the list. The meat can be cooked several ways. There are several similar stores at the mall. a federal union of the several states
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Joshua Keating, an American journalist, visited several aspiring countries to understand which make the cut, and why. The Economist, "Not all borders make sense. But changing them is dangerous," 12 July 2018 This year's flash mob consisted of over 60 men from several different countries including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Guatemala, Armstead says. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Flash mob of over 60 a cappella singers fills Chick-fil-A with gospel music," 12 July 2018 Trump also lashed out at his longtime nemesis, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a Muslim who has criticized Trump's ban on travel to the United States from several predominately Muslim countries. Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, "President Trump attacks U.K. politicians, says 'baby' blimp makes him feel unwelcome in London," 12 July 2018 In several European countries—including Germany, Finland, and Norway—public institutions offer free tuition. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, "Win a Game Show, Pay Off Your Student Debt," 12 July 2018 Sky, based in the U.K., has more than 20 million subscribers in several European countries, in addition to a content arm that includes Sky News. Bob Fernandez,, "Comcast boosts Sky bid to $34M, topping Fox offer in global standoff," 11 July 2018 In an unrelated item, several members of the public spoke against a recent proposal to create a connection from Hanson Lane to Warnock Drive via Keyser Road, Equestrian Trail and/or Royal Vista. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Garden advocate wants Ramona Street completion off priority list," 11 July 2018 But more than a dozen participants from several countries—most requesting anonymity out of fear of US retaliation—told the Times that the American officials surprised health experts and fellow delegates alike by fiercely opposing the resolution. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "US puts fierce squeeze on breastfeeding policy, shocking health officials," 9 July 2018 The Thai Navy Seals posted a picture on Facebook after the operation was announced on Sunday showing several members of the rescue team linking arms. Tassanee Vejpongsa And Kaweewit Kaewjinda, Houston Chronicle, "4 rescued from Thai cave in risky operation; 9 remain inside," 9 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of several


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Pronoun, plural in construction

1639, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for several


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin separalis, from Latin separ separate, back-formation from separare to separate


Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin separalis, from Latin separ separate

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about several

Statistics for several

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for several

The first known use of several was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for several



English Language Learners Definition of several

: more than two but not very many

: different and separate


sev·er·al | \ ˈse-və-rəl , ˈsev-rəl \

Kids Definition of several

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : consisting of more than two but not very many several people several minutes

2 : separate or distinct from others : different federal union of the several states



Kids Definition of several (Entry 2 of 2)

: a small number : more than two but not many The new rules made several of us angry.



Legal Definition of several 

1a : of or relating separately to each individual involved specifically : enforceable separately against each party each promisor owed a several duty — see also several liability at liability sense 2b, several obligation at obligation

b : being separately or individually responsible, liable, or obligated a several obligor — compare joint

2 : separate or distinct from one another to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several StatesU.S. Constitution art. I

Other words from several

severally adverb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on several

Spanish Central: Translation of several

Nglish: Translation of several for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of several for Arabic Speakers

Comments on several

What made you want to look up several? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by word of mouth

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!