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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The collective list of 773 million email addresses from several sources, published to the cloud storage service MEGA, was reported by Troy Hunt, the owner of the HaveIBeenPwned website, which indexes hacked information. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "'Collection #1' reveals 773 million email addresses, passwords in one of largest data breaches ever," 17 Jan. 2019 First of all, there isn't just one type of oat, there are several. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Eat Oatmeal Every Day Without Getting Sick of It," 4 Jan. 2019 This is exemplified by the 2017 clean-up of Freedom Island in the Philippines, which led to an eventual brand audit by Greenpeace Philippines that accused several companies of being responsible for much of the waste on Freedom Island. Tabor Wordelman, Teen Vogue, "How to Fight the Global Plastics Problem," 18 Dec. 2018 There are several hard-to-find photos from fashion shows of that period, too. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "This Instagram Account Is a Gold Mine for Rare Japanese Fashion, Auction Goodies, and More," 12 Dec. 2018 The suit, several legal complaints consolidated into one, cites testimony from unnamed GE employees who allege that cash-flow models used to determine required reserves were altered for unknown reasons. David Benoit, WSJ, "In GE Probe, Ex-Staffers Say Insurance Risks Were Ignored," 30 Nov. 2018 Further Reading Toyota’s new magnet won’t depend on some key rare-earth minerals A hedge fund recently bought Mountain Pass out of bankruptcy after several companies attempted to turn a profit from it. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Tariffs on Chinese rare-earth minerals create a sticky problem for US competitors," 30 Nov. 2018 Out of nine of her compatriots, several are still behind bars. Michele Aboud, Glamour, "Saudi Arabia Was the Last Place in the World to Allow Women to Drive. Manal al-Sharif Helped Change That.," 5 Nov. 2018 On the campaign-finance front, the legislation would require several classes of politically active organizations, including tax-exempt 501(c)(4) charitable groups, to disclose donors who have given $10,000 or more during an election cycle. Julie Bykowicz, WSJ, "Democrats Set to Push Election Overhaul, Without GOP Support," 3 Jan. 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for several

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for several

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

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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

History and Etymology for several

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on several

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for several

Spanish Central: Translation of several

Nglish: Translation of several for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of several for Arabic Speakers

Comments on several

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