See more synonyms for sever on
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.
verb (used without object)
  1. 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 formshalf-sev·ered, adjectiveun·sev·ered, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples of severed

Historical Examples of severed

British Dictionary definitions for severed


  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)

Word Origin for sever

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 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