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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The condo towers would be next to several single-story and two-story historic homes. Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News, "Condo towers would bring taste of New York to Tobin Hill," 13 July 2018 In December, the Thomas fire, the largest wildfire on record in California, ripped through Montecito, Carpinteria and other coastal cities, destroying several homes. Andrea Castillo And John Wilkens, Anchorage Daily News, "California city devastated by brush fire as record heat burns a path of destruction," 7 July 2018 On the Santa Barbara County coast, powerful sundowner winds helped fuel the Holiday fire, which burned several homes Friday night in the hills above Goleta and threatened more than 100 others, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. Hailey Branson-potts,, "Homes destroyed by fires and temperature records shattered as heat wave slams Southern California," 7 July 2018 Ranked among the league leaders in several categories, the 25-year-old Snell was as advertised— keeping the Mets off the board despite allowing the leadoff runner to reach in six out of eight frames including each of the first four. Scott Orgera,, "Blake Snell dazzles as Rays blank Mets 3-0," 7 July 2018 But the departure of Pruitt and several of his aides may slightly complicate the inspector general's work. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Scott Pruitt is still under investigation by EPA watchdog," 13 July 2018 The Trump administration has sharply criticized Mueller’s investigation, as several of his attorneys on staff donated to Democratic campaigns, including to Trump’s 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Mueller's Russia investigation: What to know," 13 July 2018 The bank had a number of one-time charges that dinged earnings, but also reported a shrinking loan book and lower fees in several of its main businesses. Emily Glazer And, WSJ, "Profit Gains at JPMorgan, Citigroup Reflect a World in Growth Mode," 13 July 2018 The celebration goes on, and then several of them kiss the poor cameraman who took the worst of it. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams," 12 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.

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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


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

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Statistics for several

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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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

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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).


not any or not one

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