[syn: severity, severeness, harshness, rigor, rigour, rigorousness, rigourousness, inclemency, hardness, stiffness]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Severe \Se*vere"\, a. [Compar. Severer; superl. Severest.]
[L. severus; perhaps akin to Gr. ??? awe, ??? revered, holy,
solemn, Goth. swikns innocent, chaste: cf. F. s['e]v[`e]re.
Cf. Asseverate, Persevere.]
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.
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.
4. Sharp; afflictive; distressing; violent; extreme; as,
severe pain, anguish, fortune; severe cold.
5. Difficult to be endured; exact; critical; rigorous; as, a
Syn: Strict; grave; austere; stern; morose; rigid; exact;
rigorous; hard; rough; harsh; censorious; tart;
acrimonious; sarcastic; satirical; cutting; biting;
keen; bitter; cruel. See Strict.
[1913 Webster] -- Se*vere"ly, adv. -- Se*vere"ness,
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: used of the degree of something undesirable e.g. pain or
weather [syn: badness, severity, severeness]
2: something hard to endure; "the asperity of northern winters"
[syn: asperity, grimness, hardship, rigor, rigour,
severity, severeness, rigorousness, rigourousness]
3: extreme plainness [syn: austereness, severity,
4: excessive sternness; "severity of character"; "the harshness
of his punishment was inhuman"; "the rigors of boot camp"
[syn: severity, severeness, harshness, rigor,
rigour, rigorousness, rigourousness, inclemency,