severe Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
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Meaning of “severe” in the English Dictionary

"severe" in British English

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severeadjective

uk   /sɪˈvɪər/  us   /-ˈvɪr/

severe adjective (VERY SERIOUS)

B2 causing very ​greatpain, ​difficulty, ​worry, ​damage, etc.; very ​serious: a severe ​chestinfection/​leginjury/​toothache This is a ​school for ​children with severe ​learning difficulties. In ​parts of ​Africa there is a severe ​food/​watershortage. There is ​expected to be a severe ​frosttonight. Severe ​cutbacks in ​publicspending have been ​announced. extreme or very ​difficult: This will be a severe ​test of ​ourstrength.
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severe adjective (NOT KIND)

B2 not ​kind or ​showingsympathy; not ​willing to ​accept other people's ​mistakes or ​failures: The ​headteacherspoke in a severe ​voice. The ​president is ​currentlyfacing severe ​criticism. There are severe ​penalties for ​failing to ​declare all ​yourincome to the Inland Revenue.

severe adjective (PLAIN)

often disapproving completelyplain and without ​decoration: She ​wore a severe ​blackdress, and ​plainblackshoes. I don't like these severe ​modernbuildings.
(Definition of severe from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"severe" in American English

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severeadjective

 us   /səˈvɪr/

severe adjective (VERY SERIOUS)

causing ​greatpain, ​difficulty, ​damage, etc.; very ​serious: a severe ​earthquake The ​familyfaced 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)
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