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several

[sev-er-uh l, sev-ruh l]
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adjective
  1. being more than two but fewer than many in number or kind: several ways of doing it.
  2. respective; individual: They went their several ways.
  3. separate; different: several occasions.
  4. single; particular.
  5. Law. binding two or more persons who may be sued separately on a common obligation.
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noun
  1. several persons or things; a few; some.
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Origin of several

1375–1425; late Middle English < Anglo-French < Medieval Latin sēparālis, equivalent to Latin sēpar separate + -ālis -al1
Can be confusedcouple pair several (see synonym study at pair)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

scatteringsmatteringsprinklehandfultracestraintastedustingfewtouchmixtureadmixturedusttingelickseveral

Examples from the Web for severals

Historical Examples

  • He was an Irish buddy tae, but there were severals converted.

    St. Cuthbert's

    Robert E. Knowles

  • But the officers were of different sentiments, as severals of them expressed.

  • Severals are of opinion that the night attack could have been made, but I am convinced of the contrary for the following reasons.

  • I do not think fit to insert the charm, knowing that severals might be inclined to make an unwarrantable trial of it.

  • All hedges and ditches to be made betwixt 'severals', evidently enclosures as distinguished from common fields.


British Dictionary definitions for severals

several

determiner
    1. more than a few; an indefinite small numberseveral people objected
    2. (as pronoun; functioning as plural)several of them know
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adjective
  1. (prenominal) various; separatethe members with their several occupations
  2. (prenominal) distinct; differentthree several times
  3. law capable of being dealt with separately; not sharedCompare joint (def. 15)
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Word Origin

C15: via Anglo-French from Medieval Latin sēparālis, from Latin sēpār, from 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 severals

several

adj.

early 15c., "existing apart," from Anglo-French several, from Middle French seperalis "separate," from Medieval Latin separalis, from Latin separ "separate, different," back-formation from separare "to separate" (see separate (v.)). Meaning "various, diverse, different" is attested from c.1500; that of "more than one" is from 1530s, originally in legal use.

Here we are all, by day; by night we're hurled
By dreams, each one into a several world
[Herrick, 1648]

Related: Severalty. Jocular ordinal form severalth attested from 1902 in American English dialect (see -th (2)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper