Synonyms and Antonyms of severe
1 given to exacting standards of discipline and self-restraint a severe, uncompromising teacher who locked the classroom door precisely when the bell rang and let no one in afterward Synonyms austere, authoritarian, flinty, hard, harsh, heavy-handed, ramrod, rigid, rigorous, stern, strict, tough Related Words demanding, exacting; uncharitable, unforgiving; adamant, adamantine, callous, hardened, hard-hearted, hard-line, immovable, implacable, inflexible, merciless, ossified, pitiless, relentless, rock-ribbed, stiff, unbending, uncompromising, unrelenting, unsparing, unyielding; dour, gruff; ascetic (also ascetical), monastic, monkish; browbeating, bullying; determined, firm, resolved, single-minded, steadfast, unflinching; dogged, intractable, obstinate, relentless Near Antonyms easy, easygoing, laid-back, undemanding; charitable, kind, merciful, mild, patient, soft, softhearted; accepting, compromising, yielding; responsive, willing; acquiescent, agreeable, amenable, complaisant, compliant, flexible, pliable, pliant Antonyms clement, forbearing, gentle, indulgent, lax, lenient, tolerant
2 harsh and threatening in manner or appearance clergymen who dressed in severe clothing Synonyms austere, dour, fierce, flinty, forbidding, gruff, intimidating, lowering (also louring), rough, rugged, grim, stark, steely, stern, ungentleRelated Words bleak, cold, hostile, inhospitable, inimical, unfriendly, unsympathetic; adamant, bound, determined, firm, intent, purposeful, resolute, resolved, steadfast, unflinching; fixed, hard, hardened, hardheaded, immovable, implacable, inflexible, ironhanded, mulish, obdurate, obstinate, rigid, self-willed, set, stiff, stubborn, unbending, uncompromising, unrelenting, unyielding, willful (or wilful); immutable, unchangeable; black, cheerless, dark, gloomy, glum, joyless, melancholic, moody, morose, sulky, sullen, surly; brooding, grave, humorless, melancholy, serious, sober, sobersided, solemn, somber (or sombre), staid, unsmiling, weightyNear Antonyms bland, meek, mellow, soft, soothing; easy, quiet, tranquil; agreeable, bright, cheerful, inviting, pleasant, pleasing, sweet; glad, happy, lighthearted, merry, mirthful, sunny; featherbrained, flighty, frivolous, giddy, goofy, harebrained, light-headed, playful, scatterbrained, sillyAntonyms benign, benignant, gentle, mild, nonintimidating, tender
3 not joking or playful in mood or manner the judge maintained a severe expression throughout the trial Synonyms earnest, grave, humorless, no-nonsense, po-faced [British], sedate, serious, sober, sobersided, solemn, staid, uncomic, unsmiling, weightyRelated Words harsh, stern, strict; businesslike, professional; dignified, distinguished, elevated, serious-minded; gloomy, grimNear Antonyms antic, comic, comical, droll, farcical, funny, hilarious, hysterical (also hysteric), laughable, light, light-headed, ludicrous, ridiculous, riotous, risible, screaming, sidesplitting, uproarious; featherbrained, flighty, frivolous, goofy, harebrained, lighthearted, puerile, scatterbrained; absurd, asinine, balmy, brainless, cockeyed, crazy, cuckoo, daffy, daft, dotty, fatuous, foolish, half-witted, insane, jerky, kooky (also kookie), loony (also looney), lunatic, mad, nonsensical, nutty, preposterous, sappy, screwball, senseless, silly, unwise, wacky (also whacky), weak-minded, witless, zanyAntonyms facetious, flip, flippant, humorous, jesting, jocular, joking, kittenish, ludic, playful
4 difficult to endure a severe winter that was among the coldest on record Synonyms bitter, brutal, burdensome, cruel, excruciating, grievous, grim, hard, hardhanded, heavy, inhuman, murderous, onerous, oppressive, rough, rugged, searing, harsh, stiff, tough, tryingRelated Words austere, bleak, comfortless, discomforting, forbidding, inhospitable, spartan, uncomfortable; biting, inclement, intemperate, wild; rigorous, strict, stringent; agonizing, heartbreaking, heartrending, painful, wretched; crushing, grinding, overwhelming, wearing; insufferable, insupportable, intolerable, unbearable, unendurable; harrowing, tortuous; bad, disagreeable, hostile, unfriendly, unpleasantNear Antonyms comfortable, cozy, luxurious, snug; agreeable, friendly, genial, hospitable, pleasant; peaceful, relaxing, reposeful, restful; bearable, endurable, painless, tolerable; balmy, calm, clement, gentle, mild, moderate, temperateAntonyms easy, light, soft
5 requiring considerable physical or mental effort a severe test of courage Synonyms arduous, Augean, backbreaking, challenging, demanding, difficult, effortful, exacting, formidable, grueling (or gruelling), heavy, hellacious, herculean, killer, laborious, moiling, murderous, pick-and-shovel, rigorous, rough, rugged, hard, stiff, strenuous, sweaty, tall, testing, toilsome, tough, uphillRelated Words abstract, abstruse, complex, complicated, elusive, hairy, insoluble, intricate, involved, knotty, opaque, problematic (also problematical), recondite, serious, spiny, stubborn, thorny, ticklish, tricky; bruising, burdensome, exhausting, labored, onerous, oppressive, stressful, taxing, tight, trying; annoying, bothersome, distressing, irksome, troublesome, vexatious; grievous, grim, strict, stringent; brutal, cruel, inhuman, painfulNear Antonyms achievable, clear, doable, elementary, manageable, uncomplicated; comforting, gentle, painless, relaxed, smooth, soothing; accessible, friendly, idiotproof, user-friendlyAntonyms cheap, easy, effortless, facile, light, mindless, simple, soft, undemanding
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up severe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).