adjective, severer, severest.
harsh; unnecessarily extreme: severe criticism; severe laws.
serious or stern in manner or appearance: a severe face.
grave; critical: a severe illness.
rigidly restrained in style, taste, manner, etc.; simple, plain, or austere.
causing discomfort or distress by extreme character or conditions, as weather, cold, or heat; unpleasantly violent, as rain or wind, or a blow or shock.
difficult to endure, perform, fulfill, etc.: a severe test of his powers.
rigidly exact, accurate, or methodical: severe standards.
Origin: 1540–50; Related forms
< Latin sevērus,
or back formation from severity
strict, hard. See stern1
1. lenient. 2. gentle.