Synonyms of severe in English:



  • 1 severe shortages of basic foodstuffs the victim sustained severe head injuries
    acute, very bad, serious, grave, critical, dire, drastic, grievous, extreme, dreadful, terrible, awful, frightful, appalling, sore; alarming, worrying, distressing, dangerous, perilous, life-threatening; Medicineperacute, profound
    archaic or humorous parlous
    [Antonyms] minor negligible
  • 2 the severe storms which battered Orkney this year
    fierce, violent, strong, wild, powerful, forceful, intense; tempestuous, turbulent, tumultuous
    [Antonyms] gentle
  • 3 it was an exceptionally severe winter
    harsh, hard, bitter, bitterly cold, cold, bleak, freezing, icy, arctic, polar, Siberian, extreme, nasty
    [Antonyms] mild
  • 4 Maria complained of a severe headache
    excruciating, agonizing, violent, intense, dreadful, awful, terrible, frightful, unbearable, intolerable, unendurable; stabbing, shooting
    informal splitting, thumping, pounding
    [Antonyms] slight
  • 5 their traumatic experiences meant that the further five-mile walk would be a severe test of their remaining stamina
    [Antonyms] easy simple
  • 6 the government's economic policies came in for severe criticism
    harsh, scathing, sharp, strong, fierce, ferocious, stringent, savage, blistering, searing, stinging, scorching, devastating, mordant, trenchant, caustic, biting, cutting, withering, rigorous, unsparing; smart, sound
    [Antonyms] mild
  • 7 a campaign against severe tax penalties
    extortionate, excessive, unreasonable, inordinate, outrageous, sky-high, harsh, stiff; punitive, punishing, penal; Britishswingeing
  • 8 army service offered poor living conditions, low pay, and severe discipline Ceauşescu singled out this minority for especially severe treatment
    strict, stern, rigorous, harsh, hard, inflexible, uncompromising, inexorable, implacable, rigid, unbending, relentless, unrelenting, unyielding, merciless, pitiless, ruthless, draconian, oppressive, repressive, punitive, rough, nasty; tyrannical, iron-fisted, iron-handed, brutal, inhuman, cruel, savage
    Australian/New Zealand informal solid
    [Antonyms] lenient lax
  • 9 his severe expression softened
    stern, dour, grim, grim-faced, forbidding, disapproving, tight-lipped, unsmiling, unfriendly, sombre, grave, sober, serious, austere, stiff, flinty, stony, steely, glowering, frowning; cold, aloof, frosty, icy, frigid
    [Antonyms] genial friendly
  • 10 the severe style of early Classical Greek architecture
    plain, simple, restrained, unadorned, undecorated, unembellished, unornamented, austere, chaste, spare, stark, ultra-plain, unfussy, without frills, spartan, ascetic, monastic, puritanical; functional, clinical, uncluttered; classic
    [Antonyms] ornate fancy
  • Definition of severe in:

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    Word of the day hypnopompic
    Pronunciation: ˌhɪpnə(ʊ)ˈpɒmpɪk
    relating to the state immediately preceding waking up