Definition of "severe" []

  • Unsparing, harsh, or strict, as in treatment of others: a severe critic. (adjective)
  • Marked by or requiring strict adherence to rigorous standards or high principles: a severe code of behavior. (adjective)
  • Stern or forbidding, as in manner or appearance: spoke in a severe voice. (adjective)
  • Extremely plain in substance or style: a severe black dress. (adjective)
  • Causing great discomfort, damage, or distress: a severe pain; a severe storm. (adjective)
  • Rigorous or harsh in the treatment of others; strict (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Serious in appearance or manner; stern (adjective)
  • Critical or dangerous (adjective)
  • Causing misery or discomfort by its harshness (adjective)
  • Strictly restrained in appearance; austere (adjective)
  • Hard to endure, perform, or accomplish (adjective)
  • Rigidly precise or exact (adjective) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "severe" in a sentence
  • "I opened up Firefox this evening to a severe weather alert from ForecastFox…which surprised me, given that it’s lovely weather: a bit of clouds, maybe some rain later, but nothing I’d call *severe*!"
  • "For example, we've estimated the distribution of a strong ground shaking because it's not always the epicenter, it's distributed along the fault, and we can estimate how much shaking actually occurred, and we estimated that close to three-fourths of a million people experienced vital to extreme shaking with very heavy damage and an additional 2 million people on top of that experienced what we term severe shaking, also expecting heavy damage."
  • "The phrase "severe reality distortion field" is probably not one you bump into every day."