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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

However, later investigations revealed that the cabin had been severed from the shuttle and projected free of the fireball, and that the crew had briefly survived. Margaret Lazarus Dean, Popular Mechanics, "The Oral History of the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster," 28 Jan. 2019 The casino giant Wynn Resorts has effectively severed ties with namesake Steve Wynn, its founder and former chief executive, who will no longer be part of the company’s Massachusetts casino license, state regulators announced Monday. Mark Arsenault, BostonGlobe.com, "Wynn Resorts has severed connection to Steve Wynn, state confirms," 7 May 2018 Smith said about the professionals who transport patients to a hospital and emergency staff that can transfuse blood and quickly patch severed vessels in the operating room. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, "Training can help people stop bleeding from traumatic injuries, experts say," 21 Apr. 2018 Internet service was severed and is only now inching back with the aid of emergency responders. Cara Anna, The Seattle Times, "‘It’s not safe anywhere:’ Mozambique cyclone scattered lives," 30 Mar. 2019 Under the old system, this population of children took an average of 14 months between the time parental rights were severed and adoption, according to Florida’s Department of Children and Families. Naomi Schaefer Riley, WSJ, "Adoptions Powered by Algorithms," 4 Jan. 2019 The problem is adversaries don’t talk regularly, and the US-Iran ties have mostly been severed under the Trump administration. Alex Ward, Vox, "How Trump undermines the best part of his foreign policy," 31 July 2018 If a relationship has been severed in real life, why do people feel the need to keep ties on social media? Taylor Davies /, NBC News, "Is someone 'orbiting' you on social media? It may be hurting your mental health," 19 June 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sever

Statistics for sever

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sever

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up sever? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

standardized text or formulaic language

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!