severe [sə vir′]
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; unsparing; stern
2. serious or grave; forbidding, as in expression or manner
3. serious or grievous [a severe wound]
4. conforming strictly to a rule, method, standard, etc.; rigidly accurate or demanding [a severe philosophy]
5. extremely plain or simple; unornamented; restrained [a dress with severe lines]
6. keen; extreme; intense [severe pain]
7. difficult; rigorous; trying [a severe test]
SYN.- SEVERE applies to a person or thing that is strict and uncompromising and connotes a total absence of softness, laxity, frivolity, etc. [a severe critic, hairdo, etc. ]; STERN1 implies an unyielding firmness, esp. as manifested in a grim or forbidding aspect or manner [a stern guardian ]; AUSTERE suggests harsh restraint, self-denial, stark simplicity [the austere diet of wartime ], or an absence of warmth, passion, ornamentation, etc. [an austere bedroom ]; ASCETIC implies extreme self-denial and self-discipline or even, sometimes, the deliberate self-infliction of pain and discomfort, as by religious fanatics [an ascetic hermit ] -ANT. MILD, LAX, INDULGENT

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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  • 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 — 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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