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severance

A severance is the ending of a connection or relationship. A terrible argument between you and your cousin could turn into a all-out feud and eventually a complete severance between the two branches of your family.

The noun severance implies a separation or cut of some kind, like a severance between your father and the political party with which he has become disenchanted. If you cut off relations with a person, group, or organization, you've initiated a severance. The phrase "severance pay" means the deal a company offers to an employee who's being fired. Severance comes from the word sever, "to cut," whose origin is the Latin separare, or "separate."

Definitions of severance
  1. noun
    the act of severing
    synonyms: severing
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    type of:
    cut, cutting
    the act of cutting something into parts
  2. noun
    a personal or social separation (as between opposing factions)
    synonyms: breach, break, falling out, rift, rupture
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    examples:
    Great Schism
    the period from 1378 to 1417 during which there were two papacies in the Roman Catholic Church, one in Rome and one in Avignon
    types:
    schism
    the formal separation of a church into two churches or the withdrawal of one group over doctrinal differences
    type of:
    breakup, detachment, separation
    coming apart
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