One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘the head had been completely severed from the body’
cut off, chop off, lop off, hack off, cleave, hew off, shear off, slice off, split
break off, tear off
divide, separate, part, detach, disconnect
2‘she had died from a single knife wound which had severed the artery’
cut, cut through, rupture, split, pierce, rip, tear
3‘neither country has expressly severed diplomatic ties’
break off, discontinue, suspend
bring to an end, end, put an end to, terminate, stop, cease, conclude, dissolve
maintain, establish, initiate
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