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severe
WordNet 2.0
  • 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"
  • very bad in degree or extent
  • "a severe worldwide depression"
  • "the house suffered severe damage"
  • 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"
  • 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"
  • severely simple
  • "a stark interior"
  • very strong or vigorous
  • "strong winds"
  • "a hard left to the chin"
  • "a knockout punch"
  • "a severe blow"
severe
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
  • 1. Serious in feeeling 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." 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." -- 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.

 

And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.

Aeschylus
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