harsh; unnecessarily extreme: severe criticism; severe laws.
serious or stern in manner or appearance: a severe face.
threatening a seriously bad outcome or involving serious issues; grave: 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.
- se·vere·ly, adverb
- se·vere·ness, noun
- o·ver·se·vere, adjective
- o·ver·se·vere·ness, noun
- su·per·se·vere, adjective
- su·per·se·vere·ness, noun
- un·se·vere, adjective
- un·se·vere·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use severe in a sentence
The coroner told the New York Times that the injuries were so severe that Taylor likely died in less than a minute.The policing reforms in the Breonna Taylor settlement, explained | Fabiola Cineas | September 17, 2020 | Vox
The Senate’s biases are largely unintentional but even more severe.
Thanks to AMP’s pre-rendering combined with some severe design limitations, AMP webpages often really do win in page speed, even if not in ranking as is.Google ranking factors to change search in 2021: Core Web Vitals, E-A-T, or AMP? | Aleh Barysevich | September 16, 2020 | Search Engine Watch
The company switched to household size-based billing in Monterey during a severe water shortage and that kind of issue didn’t crop up for San Diego area customers, Tilden said.Environment Report: State Throws Cold Water on Pricing Scheme | MacKenzie Elmer | September 14, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
This problem is the most severe and also the easiest to understand.
Eating disorders, researchers believed, were essentially more severe forms of disordered eating.How Skinny Is Too Skinny? Israel Bans ‘Underweight’ Models | Carrie Arnold | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Aviation experts across the world experienced severe jaw dropping at this news.Annoying Airport Delays Might Prevent You From Becoming the Next AirAsia 8501 | Clive Irving | January 6, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
And that realization comes at the cost of severe, public embarrassment for many, including the victim/proposed.
This concern ceased after the Spanish warned of severe punitive measures on the family members of suicides.The Life and Hard Times Of The Family A Cuban Defector Left Behind | Brin-Jonathan Butler | December 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
“That was the longest, most severe S/M session I have experienced in my thirty-four-year tenure,” she writes in the book.
And a severe, embittered struggle then took place in a heart that seemed strangely divided against itself.The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
These dreamy, Madonna-like beauties are the result of the most severe and protracted study.Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D. | Clara Erskine Clement
She is, however, a severe critic of her own work and is greatly disturbed by indiscriminating praise.Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D. | Clara Erskine Clement
It occurs in well-marked cases of pernicious anemia and leukemia, and, much less commonly, in very severe symptomatic anemias.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
Pathologically, normoblasts occur in severe symptomatic anemia, leukemia, and pernicious anemia.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
British Dictionary definitions for severe
rigorous or harsh in the treatment of others; strict: a severe parent
serious in appearance or manner; stern
critical or dangerous: a severe illness
causing misery or discomfort by its harshness: severe weather
strictly restrained in appearance; austere: a severe way of dressing
hard to endure, perform, or accomplish: a severe test
rigidly precise or exact
- severely, adverb
- severeness or severity (sɪˈvɛrɪtɪ), noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012