severe
adjective (severer; -est) Etymology: Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin severus Date: 1548 1. a. strict in judgment, discipline, or government b. of a strict or stern bearing or manner ; austere 2. rigorous in restraint, punishment, or requirement ; stringent, restrictive 3. strongly critical or condemnatory ; censorious <
a severe critic
>
4. a. maintaining a scrupulously exacting standard of behavior or self-discipline b. establishing exacting standards of accuracy and integrity in intellectual processes <
a severe logician
>
5. sober or restrained in decoration or manner ; plain <
a severe dress
>
6. a. inflicting physical discomfort or hardship ; harsh <
severe winters
>
b. inflicting pain or distress ; grievous <
a severe wound
>
7. requiring great effort ; arduous <
a severe test
>
8. of a great degree ; serious <
severe depression
>
severely adverbsevereness nounseverity noun Synonyms: severe, stern, austere, ascetic mean given to or marked by strict discipline and firm restraint. severe implies standards enforced without indulgence or laxity and may suggest harshness <
severe military discipline
>
. stern stresses inflexibility and inexorability of temper or character <
stern arbiters of public morality
>
. austere stresses absence of warmth, color, or feeling and may apply to rigorous restraint, simplicity, or self-denial <
living an austere life in the country
>
. ascetic implies abstention from pleasure and comfort or self-indulgence as spiritual discipline <
the ascetic life of the monks
>
.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • sévère — [ sevɛr ] adj. • fin XIIe; lat. severus 1 ♦ (Personnes) Qui n admet pas qu on manque à la règle; prompt à punir ou à blâmer. ⇒ dur, exigeant, strict, fam. vache. Des parents sévères. Le juge s est montré très sévère. ⇒ impitoyable. « elle était… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Severe — Sévère (chanteuse) Sévère est une rappeuse française d origine congolaise, née le 10 février 1982 à Strasbourg. Sommaire 1 Son d la rue Meufia 2 Parcours 3 Notes …   Wikipédia en Français

  • severe — severe, stern, austere, ascetic can all mean given to or characterized by strict discipline and firm restraint. Severe is applicable to persons and their looks, acts, thoughts, and utterances or to things (as laws, penalties, judgments, and… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • 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;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • severe — SEVERE. adj. de t. g. Rigide, qui exige une extreme regularité, & pardonne peu ou point. Un Prince severe. Juge severe. severe censeur. ce pere est trop severe envers ses enfans. Il se dit aussi des choses. Vertu severe. punition severe. il fit… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • severe — [sə vir′] adj. severer, severest [< MFr < OFr < L severus, prob. < se , apart (see SECEDE) + IE base * wer , (to be) friendly > OE wær, faith, pledge, bond (of friendship)] 1. harsh, strict, or highly critical, as in treatment;… …   English World dictionary

  • severe — I adjective acrimonious, afflictive, agonizing, astringent, austere, austerus, bearish, brutal, censorious, churlish, coercive, cold, condemnatory, critical, cruel, despotic, difficult, domineering, dour, drastic, durus, exacting, excruciating,… …   Law dictionary

  • Sévère — Ancien nom de baptême correspondant au latin Severus (= sérieux, sévère), popularisé par un empereur romain, puis par divers saints …   Noms de famille

  • severe — 1540s, from Fr. sévère, from L. severus (see SEVERITY (Cf. severity)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • severe — [adj1] uncompromising, stern astringent, austere, biting, caustic, close, cold, cruel, cutting, disapproving, dour, earnest, firm, flinty, forbidding, grave, grim, hard, hardnosed*, harsh, inconsiderate, inexorable, inflexible, iron handed,… …   New thesaurus

  • severe — ► ADJECTIVE 1) (of something bad, undesirable, or difficult) very great; intense. 2) strict or harsh. 3) very plain in style or appearance. DERIVATIVES severely adverb severity noun. ORIGIN Latin severus …   English terms dictionary

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