1. Serious in feeeling or manner; sedate; grave; austere; not light, lively, or cheerful.
Your looks alter, as your subject does,Waller.
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
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.
Se*vere"ly, adv. Se*vere"ness, n.
(Se*ver"i*ty) n.; pl. Severities [L. severitas: cf. F. sévérité.] The quality or state of being severe.
(a) Gravity or austerity; extreme strictness; rigor; harshness; as, the severity of a reprimand or a reproof;
severity of discipline or government; severity of penalties. "Strict age, and sour severity." Milton.
(b) The quality or power of distressing or paining; extreme degree; extremity; intensity; inclemency; as, the
severity of pain or anguish; the severity of cold or heat; the severity of the winter.
(c) Harshness; cruel treatment; sharpness of punishment; as, severity practiced on prisoners of war.
(d) Exactness; rigorousness; strictness; as, the severity of a test.
Confining myself to the severity of truth.Dryden.
(Sev"er*y) n. [Prob. corrupted fr. ciborium. Oxf. Gloss.] (Arch.) A bay or compartment of a
vaulted ceiling. [Written also civery.]