Synonyms of severe in English:

severe


See definition of severe

adjective

1‘severe shortages of basic foodstuffs’

SYNONYMS

acute, very bad, serious, grave, critical, dire, drastic, grievous, extreme, dreadful, terrible, awful, frightful, appalling, sore

alarming, worrying, distressing, dangerous, perilous, life-threatening

peracute, profound

archaic, humorous parlous

ANTONYMS

minor, negligible

2‘the severe storms which battered Orkney this year’

SYNONYMS

fierce, violent, strong, wild, powerful, forceful, intense

tempestuous, turbulent, tumultuous

ANTONYMS

gentle

3‘it was an exceptionally severe winter’

SYNONYMS

harsh, hard, bitter, bitterly cold, cold, bleak, freezing, icy, arctic, polar, Siberian, extreme, nasty

ANTONYMS

mild

4‘Maria complained of a severe headache’

SYNONYMS

excruciating, agonizing, violent, intense, dreadful, awful, terrible, frightful, unbearable, intolerable, unendurable

stabbing, shooting

informal splitting, thumping, pounding

ANTONYMS

slight

5‘their traumatic experiences meant that the further five-mile walk would be a severe test of their remaining stamina’

SYNONYMS

very difficult, demanding, hard, tough, arduous, formidable, taxing, exacting, rigorous, punishing, onerous, gruelling, burdensome, heavy

back-breaking, uphill, stiff

ANTONYMS

easy, simple

6‘the government's economic policies came in for severe criticism’

SYNONYMS

harsh, scathing, sharp, strong, fierce, ferocious, stringent, savage, blistering, searing, stinging, scorching, devastating, mordant, trenchant, caustic, biting, cutting, withering, rigorous, unsparing

smart, sound

ANTONYMS

mild

7‘a campaign against severe tax penalties’

SYNONYMS

extortionate, excessive, unreasonable, inordinate, outrageous, sky-high, harsh, stiff

punitive, punishing, penal

British swingeing

8‘army service offered poor living conditions, low pay, and severe discipline’

SYNONYMS

strict, stern, rigorous, harsh, hard, inflexible, uncompromising, inexorable, implacable, rigid, unbending, relentless, unrelenting, unyielding, merciless, pitiless, ruthless, draconian, oppressive, repressive, punitive, rough, nasty

tyrannical, iron-fisted, iron-handed, brutal, inhuman, cruel, savage

NZ Australian informal solid

ANTONYMS

lenient, lax

9‘his severe expression softened’

SYNONYMS

stern, dour, grim, grim-faced, forbidding, disapproving, tight-lipped, unsmiling, unfriendly, sombre, grave, sober, serious, austere, stiff, flinty, stony, steely, glowering, frowning

cold, aloof, frosty, icy, frigid

ANTONYMS

genial, friendly

10‘the severe style of early Classical Greek architecture’

SYNONYMS

plain, simple, restrained, unadorned, undecorated, unembellished, unornamented, austere, chaste, spare, stark, ultra-plain, unfussy, without frills, spartan, ascetic, monastic, puritanical

functional, clinical, uncluttered

classic

ANTONYMS

ornate, fancy