several

1 of 2

adjective

sev·​er·​al ˈsev-rəl How to pronounce several (audio)
ˈse-və-
1
a
: 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
2
a
: more than one
several pleas
b
: more than two but fewer than many
moved several inches
c
chiefly dialectal : being a great many

several

2 of 2

pronoun

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

Examples of several in a Sentence

Adjective 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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
One outfit, the Perryman Group, estimates that the impact could be more than several billion dollars between direct tourist spending ($1.6 billion) and other knock-on consumption (as much as $6 billion). Melvin Backman, Quartz, 8 Apr. 2024 In a sign of how important several tight California congressional races are to determining control of Congress in the November election, a Democratic super PAC has booked more than $27 million in television and digital ads in the state. Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2024 Tech campuses, including several sites owned by search giant Google dot the vicinity. George Avalos, The Mercury News, 8 Apr. 2024 Here's a list of several cities across the state where the eclipse will be viewable in totality, when the partial eclipse begins in those cities, when totality begins and when the partial eclipse ends. Katie Wiseman, The Indianapolis Star, 8 Apr. 2024 In 1980, several hundred student protesters were beaten by government paratroopers, provoking a larger revolt that was also violently suppressed. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, 8 Apr. 2024 The film is set in 1985, several years after the gruesome events of X, against the backdrop of the Night Stalker killings in Los Angeles. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 8 Apr. 2024 A number of members have run several thousand miles in the prison. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, 8 Apr. 2024 Episodes 17-20 have yet to hit the 35-day mark, but performed strongly according to same-day data, outpacing several of the preceding episodes. Selome Hailu, Variety, 27 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'several.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

First Known Use

Adjective

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

Pronoun

1639, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near several

Cite this Entry

“Several.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/several. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

several

1 of 2 adjective
sev·​er·​al ˈsev-(ə-)rəl How to pronounce several (audio)
1
: separate or distinct from one another : different
federal union of the several states
2
: being more than two but not very many
several persons
severally
adverb

several

2 of 2 pronoun
: a small number : more than two but not very many
several of the guests

Legal Definition

several

adjective
sev·​er·​al
1
a
: 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
severally adverb
Etymology

Adjective

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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