In law, severability refers to a provision in a contract which states that if parts of the contract are held to be illegal or otherwise unenforceable, the remainder of the contract should still apply. Sometimes, severability clauses will state that some provisions to the contract are so essential to the contract's purpose that if they are illegal or unenforceable, the contract as a whole will be voided. However, in many legal jurisdictions, a severability clause will not be applied if it changes the fundamental nature of the contract, and that instead the contract will be void; thus, often this is not explicitly stated in the severability clause.

Severability clauses are also commonly found in legislation, where they state that if some provisions of the law, or certain applications of those provisions, are found to be unconstitutional, the remaining provisions, or the remaining applications of those provisions, will, nonetheless, continue in force as law.

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  • severability — the rule of construction of contracts that allows a court to ignore a part of a contract that would render it in some way defective and to read instead what is left. It has been applied to restrictive covenants where, if the words are capable of… …   Law dictionary

  • Severability — A clause in a contract that allows for the terms of the contract to be independent of one another, so that if a term in the contract is deemed unenforceable by a court, the contract as a whole will not be deemed unenforceable. If there were no… …   Investment dictionary

  • severability — noun see severable …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • severability — See severable. * * * …   Universalium

  • severability — separability …   Glossary of international commercial arbitration

  • severability — n. capability of being severed, capability of being separated or cut off …   English contemporary dictionary

  • severability — sev·er·abil·i·ty …   English syllables

  • severability — The quality of being susceptible to division, leaving parts independent of each other …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • severability — ˌsev(ə)rəˈbiləd.ē noun : the quality or state of being severable …   Useful english dictionary

  • severability clause — n: a clause (as in a contract) which states that provisions are severable; esp: a clause in a statute that makes the statute s parts or provisions severable so that one part can be invalidated without invalidating the whole – called also… …   Law dictionary