- harsh; unnecessarily extreme: severe criticism; severe laws.
- serious or stern in manner or appearance: a severe face.
- grave; critical: a severe illness.
- rigidly restrained in style, taste, manner, etc.; simple, plain, or austere.
- causing discomfort or distress by extreme character or conditions, as weather, cold, or heat; unpleasantly violent, as rain or wind, or a blow or shock.
- difficult to endure, perform, fulfill, etc.: a severe test of his powers.
- rigidly exact, accurate, or methodical: severe standards.
Origin of severe
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for severely
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, joining in the chorus, severely berates Tehran for its role in the Levant.The Nuclear Deal That Iran’s Regime Fears Most
November 22, 2014
Last year he was severely criticized for his handling of a land deal with a neighbor in financial distress.What the Hell Happened in Vermont?!
November 13, 2014
Between 1999 and 2008, the number of severely intoxicated young women who wound up in E.R.s rose by 52 percent.Elizabeth Peña and the Truth About Alcoholic Women
October 24, 2014
The turbulent waters caused one of his oars to crack, which—without a motor or a sail—can be severely detrimental to his voyage.Victor Mooney’s Epic Adventure for His Dead Brother
October 19, 2014
Since the outbreak began in March, global mobilization efforts to combat the epidemic have been severely delayed.Obama Warns UN of Looming Ebola ‘Catastrophe’
September 25, 2014
I will not punish your fault so severely as Alcibiades ventured to hope.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Mr. Disraeli was severely sarcastic at the expense of the government.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
It censured Mrs. McKee severely for having been, so to speak, and accessory after the fact.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
"It is certainly unchristian," commented Mrs. Porter, severely.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
The 24th Punjaub Infantry on the left were the most severely engaged.The Story of the Malakand Field Force
Sir Winston S. Churchill
- rigorous or harsh in the treatment of others; stricta severe parent
- serious in appearance or manner; stern
- critical or dangerousa severe illness
- causing misery or discomfort by its harshnesssevere weather
- strictly restrained in appearance; austerea severe way of dressing
- hard to endure, perform, or accomplisha severe test
- rigidly precise or exact
Word Origin and History for severely
1540s, from Middle French severe (12c., Modern French sévère) or directly from Latin severus "serious, grave, strict, austere" (see severity). From 1660s with reference to styles or tastes; from 1725 of diseases.