from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Unsparing, harsh, or strict, as in treatment of others: a severe critic.
- adj. Marked by or requiring strict adherence to rigorous standards or high principles: a severe code of behavior.
- adj. Stern or forbidding, as in manner or appearance: spoke in a severe voice.
- adj. Extremely plain in substance or style: a severe black dress.
- adj. Causing great discomfort, damage, or distress: a severe pain; a severe storm.
- adj. Very dangerous or harmful; grave or grievous: severe mental illness.
- adj. Extremely difficult to perform or endure; trying: a severe test of our loyalty.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Very bad or intense.
- adj. Strict or harsh.
- adj. Sober, plain in appearance, austere.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Serious in feeling or manner; sedate; grave; austere; not light, lively, or cheerful.
- adj. Very strict in judgment, discipline, or government; harsh; not mild or indulgent; rigorous.
- adj. Rigidly methodical, or adherent to rule or principle; exactly conformed to a standard; not allowing or employing unneccessary ornament, amplification, etc.; strict; -- said of style, argument, etc.
- adj. Sharp; afflictive; distressing; violent; extreme.
- adj. Difficult to be endured; exact; critical; rigorous.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Serious or earnest in feeling, manner, or appearance; without levity; sedate; grave; austere; not light, lively, or cheerful.
- Very strict in judgment, discipline, or ac tion; not mild or indulgent; rigorous; harsh; rigid; merciless: as, severe criticism; severe punishment.
- Strictly regulated by rule or principle; exactly conforming to a standard; rigidly methodical; hence, in lit., art, etc., avoiding, or not exhibiting or permitting, unnecessary or florid ornament, amplification, or the like; restrained; not luxuriant; always keeping measure; pure in line and form; chaste in conception; subordinated to a high ideal: as, a severe style of writing; the severest style of Greek architecture; the severe school of German music.
- Sharp; afflictive; distressing; violent; extreme: as, severe pain, anguish, or torture; severe cold; a severe winter.
- Difficult to be endured; trying; critical; rigorous: as, a severe test; a severe examination.
- Synonyms and Harsh, Strict, etc. (see austere), unrelenting.
- Exact, accurate, unadorned, chaste.
- Cutting, keen, biting.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. unsparing and uncompromising in discipline or judgment
- adj. severely simple
- adj. intensely or extremely bad or unpleasant in degree or quality
- adj. causing fear or anxiety by threatening great harm
- adj. very strong or vigorous
- adj. very bad in degree or extent
Latin sevērus, serious, strict.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin severus ("severe, serious, grave in demeanor"). (Wiktionary)