sev·​er·​ance | \ˈsev-rən(t)s, ˈse-və-\

Definition of severance 

: the act or process of severing : the state of being severed

Examples of severance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In late September , workers unexpectedly received severance packages in their bank accounts. Kejal Vyas, WSJ, "Venezuelans Despair as Companies Flee," 7 Nov. 2018 Employees at the 64 Kmart and 39 Sears stores that close will get severance benefits and will be able to apply for open positions at other Kmart and Sears stores, but the company did not guarantee jobs for associates in the statement. Alejandra Reyes-velarde,, "Sears Holdings Corp. closes more than 100 Kmart and Sears stores in latest cuts," 4 Jan. 2018 Us severance has also left a sour taste in the mouths of employees, especially after 17 top executives won $16 million in bonuses in December, even after filing for bankruptcy. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Term Sheet -- Tuesday, July 10," 10 July 2018 After asking for his resignation, all nine employees were fired without notice or severance., "Feminist Apparel CEO Fires Entire Staff After They Learn He's An Admitted Sexual Abuser," 9 July 2018 As recently as last week, management was pushing the admissions staff hard to meet the goal for the July class, according to the former employee, who declined to be named for fear of jeopardizing possible severance. Harold Brubaker,, "Art Institute of Philadelphia owner mum about next steps in closing of Center City school," 3 July 2018 The top position at the quasi-public agency with a $1.2-billion annual budget had been vacant since its last CEO, Anne Noble, stepped down on Sept. 22, 2016, and entered an unusual and lucrative severance agreement with the board. Jon Lender,, "Connecticut Lottery Hires Director Of Illinois Lottery As New CEO," 5 July 2018 Language in a confidential severance agreement Tesla Inc. is using as part of the biggest job cut in its history is likely to deter dismissed employees from going public with worker safety concerns, according to employment-law experts. Josh Eidelson And Dana Hull,, "Tesla severance deal is likely to deter laid-off workers from publicizing safety concerns, experts say," 18 June 2018 Firing a coach might trigger a severance agreement, which would be to the player’s financial detriment. Jon Wertheim,, "Mailbag: Do We Frame Rafa's Clay Dominance Differently Because He's a Man?," 9 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'severance.' 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 severance

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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

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English Language Learners Definition of severance

: the act of ending someone's employment

: the act of ending a relationship, connection, etc.

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More from Merriam-Webster on severance

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with severance

Spanish Central: Translation of severance

Nglish: Translation of severance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of severance for Arabic Speakers

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to enclose within walls

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