The principle which allows for a part to be severed from the whole of something (most commonly a clause in a contract). A clause is severable if it is sufficiently independent to be deleted from an instrument without undermining the integrity of the instrument. A severable clause which is void may be deleted, leaving the rest of the contract intact, while a void clause which is not severable would render the entire contract void. Severability as a principle of legal interpretation is applicable to statutes, contracts, and awards.
Many contracts include a separate clause specifying that if any other clause within the body of the contract is found to be illegal, void, or unenforceable, it shall not affect the operation of the rest of the contract, or that inconsistent clauses are severable. These clauses will not be effective if removal of the clause in question would alter the fundamental nature of the contract.