sever

verb
sev·​er | \ ˈse-vər How to pronounce sever (audio) \
severed; severing\ ˈsev-​riŋ How to pronounce severing (audio) , ˈse-​və-​ \

Definition of sever

transitive verb

: to put or keep apart : divide especially : to remove (something, such as a part) by or as if by cutting

intransitive verb

: to become separated

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Choose the Right Synonym for sever

separate, part, divide, sever, sunder, divorce mean to become or cause to become disunited or disjointed. separate may imply any of several causes such as dispersion, removal of one from others, or presence of an intervening thing. separated her personal life from her career part implies the separating of things or persons in close union or association. vowed never to part divide implies separating into pieces or sections by cutting or breaking. civil war divided the nation sever implies violence especially in the removal of a part or member. a severed limb sunder suggests violent rending or wrenching apart. a city sundered by racial conflict divorce implies separating two things that commonly interact and belong together. cannot divorce scientific research from moral responsibility

Examples of sever in a Sentence

He severed the lowest tree limbs. His finger was severed in the accident. Activists are asking the government to sever all diplomatic relations with the country.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Prosecutors said Elliot stabbed 21-year-old Shawnice Johnson once, with an unknown sharp object, severing her carotid artery. Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati.com, "A neighborhood disagreement led to Facebook comments that led to a killing," 11 May 2018 Scientists then had to isolate the severed toe's Bd, grow it in a petri dish, and then sequence its DNA. Matthew Fisher, National Geographic, "Ground Zero of Amphibian 'Apocalypse' Finally Found," 10 May 2018 Pead also was the subject of a feature by SportingNews.com's Alex Marvez after the accident severed his left leg and damaged his right leg. Dave Clark, Cincinnati.com, "Isaiah Pead trains, awaits doctors' clearance to pursue Paralympics dream," 1 May 2018 This would be mean severing her ties to her mortal world and friends forever. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, "11 Differences Between "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch"," 26 Oct. 2018 First, Larada severed the lease agreement with Fassler's company when Pediatric Hair Solutions stopped making its AirAlle' lease payments, the lawsuit says. Michael Gordon, charlotteobserver, "Nitpicking or infringement? Companies in patent fight over head lice treatment.," 22 June 2018 Then there’s Feinstein, who has severed as a senator for California since 1992. Rob Tornoe, Philly.com, "2018 Election: What you need to know about Tuesday's primaries," 5 June 2018 Hatfield's deeper concern seems to be that the new design will sever the bond between the sport and community that has created Track Town. Ken Goe, OregonLive.com, "Phil Knight rolls the dice with the future of Hayward Field: Oregon track & field rundown," 3 June 2018 The crash at Marion Municipal Airport, about 50 miles northeast of Indianapolis, involved a small private plane, which sustained fire damage after the collision, and a larger plane that had its tail completely severed off. CBS News, "2 firefighters dead after planes collide at Marion, Indiana, airport," 3 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for sever

Middle English, from Anglo-French severer, from Latin separare — more at separate

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Statistics for sever

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sever

The first known use of sever was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for sever

sever

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sever

: to cut off (something) : to remove or separate (something) by cutting
: to end (a relationship, connection, etc.) completely

sever

verb
sev·​er | \ ˈse-vər How to pronounce sever (audio) \
severed; severing

Kids Definition of sever

: to cut off … the sword … severed the tip of his tail.— Brian Jacques, Redwall
sev·​er | \ ˈse-vər How to pronounce sever (audio) \
severed; severing

Legal Definition of sever

1 : to end (a joint tenancy) by ending one or all of the unities of time, title, possession, or interest (as by conveying one tenant's interest to another party)
2 : to separate (as a contract) into different parts (as independent obligations) in order to treat each separately
3a : to try (criminal offenses or defendants) separately in order to avoid prejudice
b : to split (a criminal trial) into multiple trials in order to avoid prejudice
c : to try (civil claims or issues pleaded in the same case) separately

Other Words from sever

severance \ ˈse-​vrəns, -​və-​rens How to pronounce severance (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on sever

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sever

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sever

Spanish Central: Translation of sever

Nglish: Translation of sever for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sever for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sever

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