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.

1300–50; Middle English severen < Middle French sev(e)rer to separate

half-severed, adjective
unsevered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sever (ˈsɛvə)
1.  to put or be put apart; separate
2.  to divide or be divided into parts
3.  (tr) to break off or dissolve (a tie, relationship, etc)
[C14 severen, from Old French severer, from Latin sēparāre to separate]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, from Anglo-Fr. severer, from O.Fr. sevrer "to separate," from V.L. *seperare, from L. separare "separate" (see separate).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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