Synonym Chooser

How is the word sever distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of sever are divide, divorce, part, separate, and sunder. While all these words mean "to become or cause to become disunited or disjointed," sever implies violence especially in the removal of a part or member.

a severed limb

When might divide be a better fit than sever?

The synonyms divide and sever are sometimes interchangeable, but divide implies separating into pieces or sections by cutting or breaking.

civil war divided the nation

When is it sensible to use divorce instead of sever?

The meanings of divorce and sever largely overlap; however, divorce implies separating two things that commonly interact and belong together.

cannot divorce scientific research from moral responsibility

When could part be used to replace sever?

In some situations, the words part and sever are roughly equivalent. However, part implies the separating of things or persons in close union or association.

vowed never to part

When would separate be a good substitute for sever?

The words separate and sever are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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

When can sunder be used instead of sever?

While in some cases nearly identical to sever, sunder suggests violent rending or wrenching apart.

a city sundered by racial conflict

Thesaurus Entries Near sever

Cite this Entry

“Sever.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

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