Se·vere a. [Compar. Severer superl. Severest.]
1. Serious in feeling 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.”
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.”
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.
adj 1: intensely or extremely bad or unpleasant in degree or
quality; "severe pain"; "a severe case of flu"; "a
terrible cough"; "under wicked fire from the enemy's
guns"; "a wicked cough" [syn: terrible, wicked]
2: very strong or vigorous; "strong winds"; "a hard left to the
chin"; "a knockout punch"; "a severe blow" [syn: hard, knockout]
3: severely simple; "a stark interior" [syn: austere, stark]
4: 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" [syn: spartan, strict]
5: causing fear or anxiety by threatening great harm; "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" [syn: dangerous, grave, grievous,
6: very bad in degree or extent; "a severe worldwide
depression"; "the house suffered severe damage"