Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To set or keep apart; divide or separate.
  • transitive v. To cut off (a part) from a whole.
  • transitive v. To break up (a relationship, for example); dissolve. See Synonyms at separate.
  • intransitive v. To become cut or broken apart.
  • intransitive v. To become separated or divided from each other.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To cut free.
  • v. To suffer disjunction; to be parted or separated.
  • v. To make a separation or distinction; to distinguish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To separate, as one from another; to cut off from something; to divide; to part in any way, especially by violence, as by cutting, rending, etc..
  • transitive v. To cut or break open or apart; to divide into parts; to cut through; to disjoin.
  • transitive v. To keep distinct or apart; to except; to exempt.
  • transitive v. To disunite; to disconnect; to terminate.
  • intransitive v. To suffer disjunction; to be parted, or rent asunder; to be separated; to part; to separate.
  • intransitive v. To make a separation or distinction; to distinguish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To separate; part; put or keep distinct or apart.
  • To part, sunder, or divide; separate into two or more parts: as, to sever the body or the arm at a single stroke.
  • To separate from the rest: said of a part with reference to the whole or main body of anything: as, to sever the head from the body.
  • To separate; disjoin; referring to things that are distinct but united by some tie.
  • To distinguish; discriminate; know apart.
  • In law, to disunite; disconnect; part possession of.
  • To separate; part; go asunder: move apart.
  • To make a separation or distinction; distinguish.
  • To act separately or independently.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. set or keep apart
  • v. cut off from a whole

Etymologies

Middle English severen, from Anglo-Norman severer, from Vulgar Latin *sēperāre, from Latin sēparāre; see separate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English severen, from Old French sevrer, from Latin separare ("to separate"), from se- ("apart") + parare ("provide, arrange"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Tapping on my clipboard with my pen and pointing to the word sever, I asked, Oh, one other thing about Georgann Hawkins.

    The Riverman

  • In fact most persons who are injured by WP do not die as a result though they do sustin sever injuries, usually several severe injuries.

    Think Progress » The Truth About ThinkProgress’ White Phosphorus Coverage

  • A motion to sever is a motion by one of two or more co-accused to be tried separately from the other or others.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10214

  • Precisely this is understood as well by Hadrian's heirs – the Arab propagandists who through their use of this false name sever the historic tie between the People and the Land of Israel.

    Israel: Hadrians curse

  • But unless those who are Socialists merely in name sever their connection with the party of Karl Marx, it will not be long before many of them will lose all sense of honor, decency and morality.

    The Red Conspiracy

  • I think major labels sever the ties between you and your audience because they are taking all the data, all the information, and all the money from your audience, which means you're losing touch in this ivory tower of your record.

    Largehearted Boy

  • N.Y.R.A. is giving up information, and Ed Rendell is going to tax companies who "sever" gas from the Marcellus shale deposits in the Southern Tier.

    Morning Read: Gillibrand Raises, Bloomberg Hires, Ackerman Profits

  • How will he 'sever' his ties with this financial scandal?

    Obama: 'Everybody needs to settle down' about VP choice

  • You neglected to point out the Craisglist poster's offer of "sever" saddles...what they sever I'd like not to contemplate.

    Under the Table: Baby Got Beard

  • Sleeves, panels, and patterns that break up the lines of the body or even "sever" entire limbs and segments of the body.

    Life on Mars?

Comments

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  • From the book The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.pg.101
    "Then I sever the rope that holds the sandbag for boxing, and the bag splits open as it slams to the ground."

    November 29, 2010

  • There is an Itchy and Scratchy were the mouse police have the motto "Protect and Sever".

    October 22, 2007