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sever

[sev-er]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to separate (a part) from the whole, as by cutting or the like.
  2. to divide into parts, especially forcibly; cleave.
  3. to break off or dissolve (ties, relations, etc.).
  4. Law. to divide into parts; disunite (an estate, titles of a statute, etc.).
  5. to distinguish; discriminate between.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become separated from each other; become divided into parts.
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Origin of sever

1300–50; Middle English severen < Middle French sev(e)rer to separate
Related formshalf-sev·ered, adjectiveun·sev·ered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sever

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And do you think it will not cost me an effort to sever our friendship?

  • If you sever a number of these cords, you alter the entire drape of the curtain.

    The Mystery of Murray Davenport

    Robert Neilson Stephens

  • Elizabeth I have put away––death could not sever us more effectually.

    A Singer from the Sea

    Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

  • There must be continuity of this structure too, for to sever a nerve is to paralyze all beyond.

    The Machinery of the Universe

    Amos Emerson Dolbear

  • I am here to say this to you: here and now I sever our betrothal!

    Pretty Madcap Dorothy

    Laura Jean Libbey


British Dictionary definitions for sever

sever

verb
  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)
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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

Word Origin and History for sever

v.

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.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper