Definition of harshly in English:



  • 1In a manner that is unpleasantly rough or jarring to the senses.

    ‘the offices are harshly lit by fluorescent lights’
    • ‘She was snapped harshly back to reality by the clatter of overturned toys.’
    • ‘In a spare and harshly lit military courtroom, prosecutors began their case.’
    • ‘The bell sounded, ringing harshly in the quiet classroom.’
    • ‘He explains his desire to unite the two harshly segregated scenes.’
    • ‘The muted, playful tone feels off, contrasting harshly with the mysterious slamming doors and the solemn tune Marianne plucks on the piano.’
    • ‘She has produced a series of three photographs in a harshly lit hotel lobby.’
    • ‘Three of these songs bear harshly noisy guitar passages.’
    • ‘A harshly unpleasant note is struck by the video.’
    • ‘The images range from the evocative to the harshly realistic.’
    • ‘Unlike traditional fluorescent markers, they are very bright and do not bleach if harshly illuminated.’
  • 2In a cruel or severe manner.

    ‘I felt I was harshly treated by the court’
    • ‘In a harshly worded ruling, the judge said that the company had engaged in illegal practices to use its dominant share in the market against competitors.’
    • ‘In his lecture, he spoke harshly of journalists who don't believe a newspaper should make a profit.’
    • ‘I didn't reply harshly, but I wanted to.’
    • ‘The war correspondent that marines were responding harshly against civilians.’
    • ‘Spitting at opponents is disgusting and uncouth and ought to be harshly punished.’
    • ‘Elizabeth glared harshly at her friend.’
    • ‘They should be fully investigated and harshly punished.’
    • ‘It was expected that police would deal harshly with them.’
    • ‘I was harshly reprimanded and humiliated in front of everyone.’
    • ‘We were chided and harshly reprimanded by our own folks.’
    1. 2.1 With an undesirably strong effect.
      ‘the fierce wind blew harshly on to my face’
      ‘the pilot applied the brakes too harshly’
      • ‘The sharp rise of unemployment apparent from the 1970s was particularly harshly felt.’
      • ‘Somewhere outside, a cold wind whips harshly through this barren hinterland.’
      • ‘He looked downwards to see his grip had tightened so harshly around the shovel's handle, he cracked it.’
      • ‘They might buy only a little time before the spending cuts begin to bite harshly.’
      • ‘It will be a welcome boost after being harshly hit by the double whammy of global recession and the attack in which one of its New York hotels was severely damaged.’
      • ‘We must not wait for external events like climate change to press harshly upon us or even topple us.’
      • ‘Adding insult to injury, the wind's still blowing very harshly up here.’
      • ‘The door leading outside was opened to reveal deep drifts of snow and still more whipping harshly around.’
      • ‘"Building a new house tests a marriage very harshly," she added.’
      • ‘Some of her hair had gotten into her face as the wind blew rather harshly.’