Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for severed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She set the severed heads of her sisters in place and then with the magic water brought them back to life.

    Mighty Mikko Parker Fillmore
  • The name, once upon it, was so severed that I could not link the fragments.

  • Suddenly she thrust the severed head she carried into the face of Kwaiba, leering horribly at him the while.

    The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari James S. De Benneville
  • He took out his jackknife, and reaching over, severed the traces.

    Cap'n Eri Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • A spear, with which the trap was armed, severed Gunn's sciatic nerve, paralyzing him.

    Owen Clancy's Happy Trail Burt L. Standish
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for sever

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for severed

Scrabble Words With Friends