Thesaurus

severe

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of severe

See the Dictionary Definition 

Choose the Right Synonym for severe

severe, stern, austere, ascetic mean given to or marked by strict discipline and firm restraint. severe implies standards enforced without indulgence or laxity and may suggest harshness. severe military discipline stern stresses inflexibility and inexorability of temper or character. stern arbiters of public morality austere stresses absence of warmth, color, or feeling and may apply to rigorous restraint, simplicity, or self-denial. living an austere life in the country ascetic implies abstention from pleasure and comfort or self-indulgence as spiritual discipline. the ascetic life of the monks

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about severe

Time Traveler for severe

Time Traveler

The first known use of severe was in 1548

See more words from the same year

Cite this Entry

“Severe.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/severe. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on severe

Dictionary: Definition of severe

Spanish Central: Translation of severe

Nglish: Translation of severe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of severe for Arabic Speakers

Comments on severe

What made you want to look up severe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!