- 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
1540–50; < Latin sevērus, or back formation from severity
SynonymsSee more synonyms for severe on Thesaurus.com
2. strict, hard. See stern1. 4. unadorned. 7. demanding, exacting.
1. lenient. 2. gentle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for unsevere
"He thought too much of himself and too little of other people," Little Ann summed him up in her unsevere, reasonable voice.T. Tembarom
Frances Hodgson Burnett
- 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
C16: from Latin sevērus
Word Origin and History for unsevere
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper