severe definition, meaning - what is severe in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “severe”

See all translations

severe

adjective uk   /sɪˈvɪər/  us   /-ˈvɪr/

severe adjective (VERY SERIOUS)

B2 causing very great pain, difficulty, worry, damage, etc.; very serious: a severe chest infection/leg injury/toothache This is a school for children with severe learning difficulties. In parts of Africa there is a severe food/water shortage. There is expected to be a severe frost tonight. Severe cutbacks in public spending have been announced. extreme or very difficult: This will be a severe test of our strength.
More examples

severe adjective (NOT KIND)

B2 not kind or showing sympathy; not willing to accept other people's mistakes or failures: The headteacher spoke in a severe voice. The government is currently facing severe criticism. There are severe penalties for failing to declare all your income to the tax authorities.

severe adjective (PLAIN)

often disapproving completely plain and without decoration: She wore a severe black dress, and plain black shoes. I don't like these severe modern buildings.
(Definition of severe from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of severe?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “severe” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

generous

willing to give money, help, kindness, etc., especially more than is usual or expected

Word of the Day

She’s got very good posture. (How we stand and sit)

by Kate Woodford,
May 27, 2015
Recently on this blog, we looked at the words that we use to describe the way we move. This week we’re looking at words for describing our bodies when they are still, whether we are standing or sitting. Since most of us do far too much of this, let’s start with sitting.

Read More 

ebolaphobia noun

June 01, 2015
irrational fear of the (spread of) the Ebola virus Ebolaphobia Going Viral

Read More