sever

verb
sev·​er | \ ˈse-vər \
severed; severing\ ˈsev-​riŋ , 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

If the spinal cord is completely severed by trauma to the neck region, victims are paralyzed in legs, arms and torso, unable to control their bowel and bladder, and without bodily sensations. Christof Koch, Scientific American, "What Is Consciousness?," 8 May 2018 Privacy - Terms One of his legs had been severed, the newspaper said. Crystal Hill, sacbee, "She was wasted and plowed into a man – then kept driving with his body in the car," 11 Apr. 2018 According to police, he had been stabbed in the back, and his head was severed from his body. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, "New York Mom Accused of Decapitating Her 7-Year-Old Son with a Kitchen Knife," 9 Apr. 2018 Responding officers first met with Wakefield, and noticed his left arm had been severed at the elbow and right eye had been removed from its socket. Megan Cassidy, azcentral, "Phoenix man who beheaded wife and dogs gets 29 years in prison," 6 Apr. 2018 These are promising treatments for the most extreme cases of paralysis, but Lu notes that the majority of injured cords aren’t completely severed. Nate Berg, Los Angeles Magazine, "People With Spinal Injuries Are Regaining Use of Their Limbs in an Amazing Way," 30 Mar. 2018 The force of the panga strike to her left arm severed it at the wrist. Nick Turse, Teen Vogue, "The Democratic Republic of Congo Has Humanitarian Crises Leaving Millions of Children In Danger," 14 Nov. 2018 International leaders and business executives are severing or rethinking ties to the Saudi government after Khashoggi’s high-profile disappearance. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Trump criticizes rush to condemn Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi," 16 Oct. 2018 And, perhaps most surprising, a prominent lobbying firm representing the Saudi government’s interests in Washington, the Harbour Group, severed ties with its powerful client on Thursday, terminating its $80,000-a-month contract. Alexia Underwood, Vox, "All the companies that have cut ties with Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi’s disappearance," 12 Oct. 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

18 Jan 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 \
severed; severing

Kids Definition of sever

: to cut off … the sword … severed the tip of his tail.— Brian Jacques, Redwall
sev·​er | \ ˈse-vər \
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 \ 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

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