[ suh-veer ]
/ səˈvɪər /
adjective, se·ver·er, se·ver·est.
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.
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Origin of severe
1540–50; < Latin sevērus, or back formation from severity
OTHER WORDS FROM severe
se·vere·ly, adverbse·vere·ness, nouno·ver·se·vere, adjectiveo·ver·se·vere·ly, adverb
o·ver·se·vere·ness, nounsu·per·se·vere, adjectivesu·per·se·vere·ly, adverbsu·per·se·vere·ness, nounun·se·vere, adjectiveun·se·vere·ly, adverbun·se·vere·ness, noun
Words nearby severe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
Example sentences from the Web for severeness
McClellan came up immediately, and, though I was fairly worn out with the severeness of the ride, we sat up till one oclock.The Life of Isaac Ingalls Stevens, Volume I (of 2)|Hazard Stevens
British Dictionary definitions for severeness
/ (sɪˈvɪə) /
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
Derived forms of severeseverely, adverbsevereness or severity (sɪˈvɛrɪtɪ), noun
Word Origin for severe
C16: from Latin sevērus
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