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

One stab wound to the left arm severed an artery, the prosecutor said. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Man sentenced to prison for fatally stabbing uncle at Pacific Beach condo," 12 Aug. 2019 Cats that have had their spinal cord severed can be suspended over a treadmill and trained to walk again by simply guiding their legs in a step-like motion. Cassandra Willyard, Scientific American, "How a Revolutionary Technique Got People with Spinal-Cord Injuries Back on Their Feet," 7 Aug. 2019 While everyone makes amyloid, in some, the protein is produced in abnormally copious amounts that clump together and form plaques in the brain, which experts believe start to strangle nerves and sever their critical connections to each other. Alice Park, Time, "A New Alzheimer's Blood Test Proved 94% Accurate in Finding Brain Changes Related to the Disease," 1 Aug. 2019 Wan made his breakthrough with the bone-severing Saw, launching a franchise. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "James Wan Set to Direct Original Horror Movie," 31 July 2019 An almighty dump of torrential rain and hail severed the Tour route just as Bernal was succeeding in ripping the race lead off Alaphilippe, who'd clung to it like a kid with a favorite toy. John Leicester And Samuel Petrequin, baltimoresun.com, "22-year-old Egan Bernal is first Colombian to win Tour de France," 28 July 2019 Ashley, 32, was immobilized and bedridden for nearly a year but has regained his movement as the neck fracture didn’t sever his nerves, said his lawyer Ron K. Cheng. oregonlive.com, "Youth pastor who broke neck seeks more than $2 million in damages in suit alleging faulty ‘Bubble Ball’," 25 July 2019 Also, that tank holds 30 to 50 gallons of fresh water — vital, if a quake at the San Andreas fault severs the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Steve Carney, latimes.com, "The 9 earthquake hazards lurking in your home," 13 July 2019 Bright-orange electroluminescent paint strips on the sides of the ESF concept are its ultimate post-crash communication fallback, should either the adorable robot triangle or the rooftop triangle be out of commission and car-to-X links severed. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "If You Crash a Mercedes-Benz in the Future, It Could Deploy a Robot to Warn Other Drivers," 21 May 2019

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

16 Aug 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

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