Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Being of a number more than two or three but not many.
  • adjective Respectively different; various: synonym: distinct.
  • adjective Law Regarded as separate, especially with regard to tort liability or legal obligation, such that each individual involved is fully responsible for the liability or obligation.
  • adjective Archaic Single; distinct.
  • pronoun An indefinite but small number; some or a few.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Separately; individually; diversely; in different ways.
  • To divide or break up into severals; make several instead of common.
  • Separated; apart; not together.
  • Individual; not common to two or more; separate; particular.
  • Different; diverse; various; as, they went their several ways; it has happened three several times.
  • Single; particular; distinct.
  • In law, separable and capable of being treated as separate from, though it may be not wholly independent of, another.
  • Consisting of or comprising an indefinite number greater than one; more than one or two, but not many; divers.
  • = Syn. 2–4. Distinct, etc. See different.
  • noun That which is separate; a particular or peculiar thing; a private or personal possession.
  • noun A particular person; an individual.
  • noun An inclosed or separate place; specifically, a piece of inclosed ground adjoining a common field; an inclosed pasture or field, as opposed to an open field or common.
  • noun An outer garment for women, introduced about 1860 and named in France from the English word, in allusion to the different uses to which the garment could be put: its form could be changed by folding, buttoning, etc., so that it should make a shawl, a burnoose, or other garment at pleasure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb obsolete By itself; severally.
  • adjective Separate; distinct; particular; single.
  • adjective Diverse; different; various.
  • adjective Consisting of a number more than two, but not very many; divers; sundry.
  • noun obsolete Each particular taken singly; an item; a detail; an individual.
  • noun Persons oe objects, more than two, but not very many.
  • noun obsolete An inclosed or separate place; inclosure.
  • noun [R.] in a state of separation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adverb By itself; severally.
  • noun obsolete An area of land in private ownership (as opposed to common land).
  • noun Each particular taken singly; an item; a detail; an individual.
  • noun archaic An enclosed or separate place; enclosure.

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

  • adjective considered individually
  • adjective distinct and individual
  • adjective (used with count nouns) of an indefinite number more than 2 or 3 but not many

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, separate, from Anglo-Norman, from Medieval Latin sēparālis, sēperālis, from Latin sēpar, from sēparāre, to separate; see separate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman several, from Medieval Latin sēparālis, from Latin sēpar ("separate").

Examples

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