severe

Whether you're talking about a punishment, the weather, or how bad your flu is, severe indicates that it's at the limit of the spectrum.

The austerity of a word like severe serves many purposes. The common usage is to describe tough or painful stuff, like icy snowstorms, merciless punishments, or grim conditions (i.e., a severe depression). If things are severe, they're serious. Severe could also describe a person's haircut if it's brutally short and angular, or their wardrobe if it tends to be all black with no flourishes.

Definitions of severe
1

adj unsparing and uncompromising in discipline or judgment

“"a parent severe to the pitch of hostility"- H.G.Wells”
“a hefty six-footer with a rather severe mien”
Synonyms:
spartan
nonindulgent, strict
characterized by strictness, severity, or restraint

adj very strong or vigorous

“a severe blow”
Synonyms:
hard, knockout
strong
having strength or power greater than average or expected

adj severely simple

Synonyms:
austere, stark, stern
plain
not elaborate or elaborated; simple

adj very bad in degree or extent

“a severe worldwide depression”
“the house suffered severe damage”
Synonyms:
bad
having undesirable or negative qualities

adj intensely or extremely bad or unpleasant in degree or quality

severe pain”
“a severe case of flu”
Synonyms:
terrible, wicked
intense
possessing or displaying a distinctive feature to a heightened degree

adj causing fear or anxiety by threatening great harm

“a severe case of pneumonia”
Synonyms:
dangerous, grave, grievous, life-threatening, serious
critical
being in or verging on a state of crisis or emergency

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