English

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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From Anglo-Norman several, from Medieval Latin sēparālis, from Latin sēpar (separate). By surface analysis, sever +‎ -al.

Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): /ˈsɛv(ə)ɹəl/
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Hyphenation: sev‧er‧al, seve‧ral

Adjective

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several (comparative more several, superlative most several)

  1. (obsolete) Separate, distinct; particular. [15th–19th c.]
  2. A number of different; various. [from 16th c.]
  3. (law) Separable, capable of being treated separately.

Derived terms

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Determiner

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several

  1. Consisting of a number more than one (especially, more than two) but not very many. [from 17th c.]
    Synonyms: a few, a couple of
    Antonyms: one; zero, no; many, numerous; countless
    Hypernyms: multiple, various
    Coordinate term: a handful of
    Several cars were in the parking lot.
    They had many journals. I subscribed to several.
    Several of the members were absent.
    • 1784, William Jones, The Description and Use of a New Portable Orrery, &c., preface:
      The favourable reception the Orrery has met with from Perſons of the firſt diſtinction, and from Gentlemen and Ladies in general, has induced me to add to it ſeveral new improvements in order to give it a degree of Perfection; and diſtinguiſh it from others ; which by Piracy, or Imitation, may be introduced to the Public.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 14, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
      Just under the ceiling there were three lunette windows, heavily barred and blacked out in the normal way by centuries of grime. Their bases were on a level with the pavement outside, a narrow way which was several feet lower than the road behind the house.
    • 6 November 2004, The Guardian:
      Several people were killed and around 150 injured after a high-speed train hit a car on a level crossing and derailed tonight.
    • 2013 June 8, “Obama goes troll-hunting”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 55:
      The solitary, lumbering trolls of Scandinavian mythology would sometimes be turned to stone by exposure to sunlight. Barack Obama is hoping that several measures announced on June 4th will have a similarly paralysing effect on their modern incarnation, the patent troll.

Usage notes

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  • Some dictionaries and many older grammars put several into the word class 'pronoun' in many of its uses.
  • To some speakers, several means "more than one but not very many"; to some others, it means "more than two but not very many." The sole difference is whether two things count as several, when the counting is not precise (especially in situations where it may change at any instant, such as several birds in the yard). A similar variability likewise applies to a few, as well as a couple of versus a couple of.

Derived terms

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Translations

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also

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Adverb

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several (not comparable)

  1. By itself; severally.

Noun

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several (plural severals)

  1. (obsolete) An area of land in private ownership (as opposed to common land).
  2. Each particular taken singly; an item; a detail; an individual. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  3. (archaic) An enclosed or separate place; enclosure. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  4. (archaic) A woman's loose outer garment, capable of being worn as a shawl, or in other forms.

Translations

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See also

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References

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Anagrams

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Old French

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Adjective

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several m (oblique and nominative feminine singular severale)

  1. separate

Declension

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Noun

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several oblique singularm (oblique plural severaus or severax or severals, nominative singular severaus or severax or severals, nominative plural several)

  1. one's own property or possession
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Descendants

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  • English: several

References

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