Definition of severely in English:



  • 1To an undesirably great or intense degree.

    ‘our business has been severely affected by the slowdown’
    [as submodifier] ‘severely injured patients’
    • ‘In fact some poor continued on out-relief at a severely reduced rate.’
    • ‘By the age of 100,000 years, the agreement between the two techniques was severely compromised.’
    • ‘Leave has been granted where, for example, a local authority is seeking authorization for medical treatment of a severely anorexic child in care.’
    • ‘In the last dry years underground water supplies have severely diminished.’
    • ‘Treatment with 0.4 M KCl severely damaged the plants.’
    • ‘Excess applications of soluble nitrogen compounds can also severely injure or kill small trees, particularly on sandy soils.’
    • ‘Government moves towards a free market in agricultural produce has resulted in lower prices, severely impacting upon the incentives of farmers.’
    • ‘We have had a least half-a-dozen properties severely damaged by flood water.’
    • ‘Instead, multiple undifferentiated germ cells appear in the severely truncated ovarioles.’
    • ‘Back then David who was severely autistic was well enough to go to the park with his twin sister Ali.’
    • ‘The basis of their ire is severely depleted groundwater.’
    • ‘Most recipients are either very poor, severely disabled, or single mothers.’
    • ‘Anyone expecting the dramatic growth seen in the past decade will be severely disappointed.’
    • ‘Advanced trauma life support is the standard method for the initial management of severely injured patients.’
    • ‘Some stages of the Paris-Nice were shortened severely due to heavy snowfall.’
    • ‘Something must always die, or be severely injured/interrupted, in order for something to live.’
    • ‘The driver described how Abdullah was severely beaten by several soldiers, whom he could not positively identify.’
    • ‘The film suffers from naturalistic excesses, at times severely.’
    • ‘A Cabinet meeting room had been severely damaged in fighting in the compound.’
    • ‘Blades which are severely bowed should not be purchased.’
    sternly, grimly, dourly, disapprovingly, sombrely, gravely, seriously, stiffly
    very badly, extremely badly, seriously, gravely, critically, grievously, acutely, sorely
    sharply, roundly, soundly, fiercely, scathingly, savagely
    plainly, simply, austerely, without adornment, without frills, starkly, spartanly, monastically
    harshly, strictly, sternly, rigorously, relentlessly, mercilessly, pitilessly, oppressively, repressively, roughly, sharply, with an iron hand, with a rod of iron
    View synonyms
  • 2Strictly or harshly.

    ‘the culprits will be severely punished’
    • ‘"We demand that the government severely punish the killers who caused the collapse of the school building," he shouted.’
    • ‘The implementation stage of the fair value scheme has been severely criticised.’
    • ‘Just as crimes are severely punished, statues of virtuous men, set in marketplaces, publicly honor good deeds.’
    • ‘It is also expected that a bill severely restricting the local media, especially in the area of voter education, will be introduced.’
    • ‘Upon his return, he was severely punished.’
    • ‘In Iran, for example, the entire economic, political, legal, and social systems are based on the teachings of the Koran and any deviations are severely punished and offenders ostracized.’
    • ‘Any violation is forbidden and punished severely if the hierarchy has the capability to defend its reign.’
    • ‘He had been severely beaten, shot in the head, and burned.’
    • ‘To prevent theft, tar is put all around the fence and any slave found with it is severely punished.’
    • ‘The team that has already been severely punished by FIA earlier this year, also seems to be safe for now.’
    • ‘Censorship has occurred most often in periods of conflict and, in some, severely.’
    • ‘But you should know that I do disapprove of your behavior most severely! "’
    • ‘He acknowledged the incident in 2001 where he severely disciplined T.J. using a belt which left marks on T.J.'s back.’
    • ‘Subsequent cases of academic dishonesty will be dealt with quite severely.’
    • ‘He was questioned for several hours Wednesday by Israeli secret service agents, during which time he was beaten severely.’
    • ‘The Roman Vestals enjoyed great privileges but, charged with keeping alight the flames of the fire which sustained the Roman state, were severely punished if the fire subsided.’
    • ‘Men like Leslie Brown, severely beaten as a prisoner of war.’
    • ‘He was immediately captured by hostile forces and taken to a prison camp where he was interrogated and severely tortured.’
    • ‘He didn't speak for two years at the age of six after suffering a traumatic childhood during which he was severely beaten by his abusive father.’
    • ‘And there are reasons for criticizing severely the government for Israel for not themselves conducting such a search and rescue operation.’
    1. 2.1In a formal and unsmiling way.
      ‘'I hope you're not trying to steal my girlfriend,' I said severely’
      • ‘They were typical young recruits, too half-witted to know any better, but Ma was so fed up, he criticized them severely.’
      • ‘This situation would even have Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo - so severely criticized by Su - sighing in regret over having lived in the wrong era.’
      • ‘This means that when fundamentalists say they are obeying the word of God, they have severely understated the authority for their position.’
      • ‘In 1932 the cast would have been severely reprimanded backstage afterwards - and worse!’
      • ‘A baronet and rear-admiral, Hood was Rodney's second at the battle of the Saints, and was severely critical of Rodney's failure to pursue the French.’
  • 3In a very plain style.

    ‘her hair was severely pulled back into a bun’
    • ‘It is now unusual to add eggs or fat, and rice pudding has tended to become a severely plain nursery dish.’