Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “severe”

severe

adjective  /səˈvɪr/ us  

severe adjective (VERY SERIOUS)

causing great pain, difficulty, damage, etc.; very serious: a severe earthquake The family faced severe challenges when he lost his job.

severe adjective (NOT KIND)

not kind or sympathetic; harsh: severe criticism
(Definition of severe from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of severe?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Complicated and difficult to do, but you might be interested in these topics from the Easy and difficult topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “severe” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

throw

to send something through the air with force, especially by a sudden movement of the arm

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More