noun, plural se·ver·i·ties.
Examples from the Web for severity
Within these forms, the severity of depression can vary over time.
We did so because we understood the severity of those threats.
McDonald attempts to impart on him the severity of the consequences he will face should he find himself back in this courtroom.Private Prisons Rule With Little Oversight on America’s Border|Caitlin Dickson|June 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The scope—and severity—of their alleged crimes is astounding, as well.
Longtime Quds Force chief Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani is reportedly in Baghdad, which indicates the severity of the crisis.
This incident served Henry as a pretence for his severity towards that prince.
He had scarcely arrived when he made every exertion to urge it to adopt measures of severity.History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, Volume III|J. H. Merle D'Aubign
He would have it out even to the extent of severity and have done with it.The Pastor's Wife|Elizabeth von Arnim
Then the talk drifted back to the singing school and Brother Friedsam's severity.Duffels|Edward Eggleston
He was a tall, thin man with a wide mouth, which either smiled charmingly or was set with severity.The Copy-Cat and Other Stories|Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Word Origin and History for severity
late 15c., "austerity or strictness of life," from Middle French severite, from Latin severitas "seriousness, strictness, sternness," from severus "stern, strict, serious," of uncertain origin. Possibly from PIE root *segh- "to have, hold" (see scheme (n.)), or possibly from *se vero "without kindness," from se "without" (see secret) + *vero "kindness," neuter ablative of verus "true" (see very). Meaning "strictness in dealing with others" is recorded from 1520s.