• IPA: /ˈsɛv(ə)ɹəl/
  1. (obsolete) Separate, distinct; particular. [15th-19th century]
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar:
      Here is the will, and under Caesar's seal. To every Roman citizen he gives, to every several man, seventy-five drachmas.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 42, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book I, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      He had a religion apart: a God severall unto himselfe, whom his subjects might no waies adore.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970 ↗:
      , II.i.4.2:
      So one thing may be good and bad to several parties, upon diverse occasions.
    • 1852, Washington Irving, Tales from the Alhambra:
      the hearts of the three cavaliers were completely captured, especially as gratitude was added to their admiration; it is a little singular, however, though no less certain, that each of them was enraptured with a several beauty.
    • 1666, Dryden, Annus Mirabilis: The Year of Wonders
      Each several ship a victory did gain.
    • 1711, Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism
      Each might his several province well command, / Would all but stoop to what they understand.
  2. A number of different; various. (Now merged into later senses, below) [from 16th century]
    • 1610, The Tempest, by Shakespeare, act 3, scene 1
      […] for several virtues / Have I lik'd several women; never any / With so full soul but some defect in her / Did quarrel with the noblest grace she ow'd, / And put it to the foil […].
    • early 1600s, Francis Bacon, Of Simulation and Dissimulation
      habits and faculties, several, and to be distinguished
    • Four several armies to the field are led.
  3. Consisting of a number more than two but not very many; diverse. [from 17th century]
    • 1784, William Jones, The Description and Use of a New Portable Orrery, &c., [,M1 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.
    • 2004, The Guardian, 6 November:
      Several people were killed and around 150 injured after a high-speed train hit a car on a level crossing and derailed tonight.
Translations Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: vários
  • Russian: разли́чный

several (not comparable)

  1. By itself; severally.
    • (More's Utopia)
      Every kind of thing is laid up several in barns or storehouses.

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.
  3. (archaic) An enclosed or separate place; enclosure.
  4. (archaic) A woman's loose outer garment, capable of being worn as a shawl, or in other forms.

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