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[sev-er] /ˈsɛv ər/
verb (used with object)
to separate (a part) from the whole, as by cutting or the like.
to divide into parts, especially forcibly; cleave.
to break off or dissolve (ties, relations, etc.).
Law. to divide into parts; disunite (an estate, titles of a statute, etc.).
to distinguish; discriminate between.
verb (used without object)
to become separated from each other; become divided into parts.
Origin of sever
1300-50; Middle English severen < Middle French sev(e)rer to separate
Related forms
half-severed, adjective
unsevered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for severed
  • The past means nothing, he averred, if severed from present and future.
  • Diplomats have been expelled, contacts between security services severed and visa restrictions imposed.
  • Cut marks on the protruding neck bones probably indicate the head had been severed by a sharp obsidian knife.
  • Consciousness in his visual system seems to have been severed from that in his language system.
  • Bloodstains on the flies buzzing around the severed heads in the painting noted above are an example.
  • Thus, they found that the clay pipe leading from my house to the city sewer line had been severed.
  • Later, it takes four straining warriors to carry his severed head.
  • The stab wound severed his spine and left him paralyzed and on a respirator.
  • We do spend time together, but my job is pretty severed from his life.
  • So far five cats have been found either missing limbs or severed in half.
British Dictionary definitions for severed


to put or be put apart; separate
to divide or be divided into parts
(transitive) to break off or dissolve (a tie, relationship, etc)
Word Origin
C14 severen, from Old French severer, from Latin sēparāre to separate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for severed



c.1300, from Anglo-French severer, Old French sevrer "to separate" (12c., later in French restricted to "to wean," i.e. "to separare from the mother"), from Vulgar Latin *seperare, from Latin separare "to separate" (see separate (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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