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

The hurricane destroyed the island’s power grid and severed most communications, although occasional text messages were getting through in Marsh Harbour, the biggest town. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "No way in, or out: Dorian's damage to Bahamas leaves survivors and rescue teams frustrated," 6 Sep. 2019 Breaking up, but still learning by example On July 4, 1776, Congress severed all ties to Britain. Eliga Gould, The Conversation, "The American Founders made sure the president could never suspend Congress," 3 Sep. 2019 Having to move elsewhere could sever those new connections. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Gentrification opened a rift between an L.A. church and a children’s center. Can they both survive?," 30 Aug. 2019 The Patriots can sever ties with veteran backup Brian Hoyer and redistribute a roster spot. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "A few opinions on the state of the Patriots," 26 Aug. 2019 Mobile connections and Internet access remained severed, and hundreds of local politicians were being held incommunicado. Niha Masih, Washington Post, "India loosens clampdown in Kashmir, but leaders remain detained," 19 Aug. 2019 As their longtime franchise agreement expired in April and the two entities failed to come to a new deal, more than 7,000 writers severed their business relationships with their agents. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, "Agencies Sitting Out Emmy Parties Amid WGA-ATA Fight," 14 Aug. 2019 Kurtz lives in an infernal empire of rotting corpses and severed heads. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Greatest War Movie Ever Made," 10 Aug. 2019 The explosion severed fuel and hydraulic lines in the left side of the plane. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "EAA: Southwest pilot recounts harrowing flight with blown engine, rapid depressurization," 23 July 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

13 Sep 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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