DEFINITION of '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 severability clause in a contract, a whole contract could be deemed unenforceable because of one unenforceable term.

Also known as a "severability clause" or a "savings clause".

BREAKING DOWN 'Severability'

A contract with a severability clause is essentially one contract divided into many different parts: default on one component of the contract does not prevent the rest of the contract from being fulfilled. If a sentence, clause or term in a contract is deemed invalid by a court, then this problem area of the contract will most often be rewritten to fit both the contract's original intent and the requirements of the court.

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