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Synonyms of severe in English:


  • 1 severe injuries
    acute, very bad, serious, grave, critical, dreadful, terrible, awful;
    dangerous, parlous, life-threatening
    formal grievous
    [Antonyms] minor, negligible
  • 2 severe storms
    fierce, violent, strong, powerful, intense;
    tempestuous, turbulent
    [Antonyms] gentle
  • 3 a severe winter
    harsh, bitter, cold, bleak, freezing, icy, arctic, extreme
    informal brutal
    [Antonyms] mild
  • 4 a severe headache
    excruciating, agonizing, intense, dreadful, awful, terrible, unbearable, intolerable
    informal splitting, pounding, screaming
    [Antonyms] slight
  • 5 a severe test of their stamina
    [Antonyms] easy, simple
  • 6 severe criticism
    harsh, scathing, sharp, strong, fierce, savage, scorching, devastating, trenchant, caustic, biting, withering
    [Antonyms] mild
  • 7 severe tax penalties
    extortionate, excessive, unreasonable, inordinate, outrageous, sky-high, harsh, stiff;
  • 8 they received severe treatment
    harsh, stern, hard, inflexible, uncompromising, unrelenting, merciless, pitiless, ruthless, draconian, oppressive, repressive, punitive;
    brutal, cruel, savage
    [Antonyms] lenient, lax
  • 9 his severe expression
    stern, dour, grim, forbidding, disapproving, unsmiling, unfriendly, somber, grave, serious, stony, steely;
    cold, frosty
    [Antonyms] friendly, genial
  • 10 a severe style of architecture
    [Antonyms] fancy, ornate
  • Choose the right word

    severe, ascetic, austere, stern, strict, unmitigated
    A storm, a hairdo, and a punishment may all be described as severe, which means harsh or uncompromising, without a hint of softness, mildness, levity, or indulgence. Austere, on the other hand, primarily applies to people, their habits, their way of life, and the environments they create; it implies coldness, stark simplicity, and restraint ( an austere room with only a table and chair). Ascetic implies extreme self-denial and self-discipline, in some cases to the point of choosing what is painful or disagreeable ( he had an ascetic approach to life and rejected all creature comforts). Strict literally means bound or stretched tight; in extended use, it means strenuously exact ( a strict curfew; strict obedience). Stern combines harshness and authority with strictness or severity ( a stern judge). Unmitigated means unmodified and unsoftened in any way ( a streak of unmitigated bad luck).
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