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severe Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. adjective satellite intensely or extremely bad or unpleasant in degree or quality
    terrible; wicked.
    • severe pain
    • a severe case of flu
    • a terrible cough
    • under wicked fire from the enemy's guns
    • a wicked cough
  2. adjective satellite very strong or vigorous
    knockout; hard.
    • strong winds
    • a hard left to the chin
    • a knockout punch
    • a severe blow
  3. adjective satellite severely simple
    austere; stark; stern.
    • a stark interior
  4. adjective satellite unsparing and uncompromising in discipline or judgment
    • a parent severe to the pitch of hostility"- H.G.Wells
    • a hefty six-footer with a rather severe mien
    • a strict disciplinarian
    • a Spartan upbringing
  5. adjective satellite causing fear or anxiety by threatening great harm
    grievous; life-threatening; dangerous; serious; grave.
    • a dangerous operation
    • a grave situation
    • a grave illness
    • grievous bodily harm
    • a serious wound
    • a serious turn of events
    • a severe case of pneumonia
    • a life-threatening disease
  6. adjective satellite very bad in degree or extent
    • a severe worldwide depression
    • the house suffered severe damage

Se*vere" adjective
L. severus; perhaps akin to Gr. awe, revered, holy, solemn, Goth. swikns innocent, chaste: cf. F. sévère. Cf. Asseverate, Persevere.
comparative Severer ; superlative Severest
  1. Serious in feeeling or manner; sedate; grave; austere; not light, lively, or cheerful.
    Your looks alter, as your subject does, From kind to fierce, from wanton to severe. Waller.
  2. Very strict in judgment, discipline, or government; harsh; not mild or indulgent; rigorous; as, severe criticism; severe punishment. "Custody severe." Milton.
    Come! you are too severe a moraler. Shak.
    Let your zeal, if it must be expressed in anger, be always more severe against thyself than against others. Jer. Taylor.
  3. 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. "Restrained by reason and severe principles." Jer. Taylor.
    The Latin, a most severe and compendious language. Dryden.
  4. Sharp; afflictive; distressing; violent; extreme; as, severe pain, anguish, fortune; severe cold.
  5. Difficult to be endured; exact; critical; rigorous; as, a severe test. Syn. -- Strict; grave; austere; stern; morose; rigid; exact; rigorous; hard; rough; harsh; censorious; tart; acrimonious; sarcastic; satirical; cutting; biting; keen; bitter; cruel. See Strict. -- Se*vere"ly, adv. -- Se*vere"ness, n.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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