Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

severity - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [uncountable]     severity pronunciation in American English
  1. 1
    the seriousness of something bad or unpleasant
    severity of:

    The severity of the storm was less than expected.

  2. 2
    the degree to which something is strict or extreme
    severity of:

    She was surprised by the severity of the sentence he was given.

  3. 3
    an unfriendly attitude and a lack of humor

    The tone of Helen’s voice approached severity.

  4. 4
    the degree to which something is plain and not attractive in its style

deep learning

a form of machine learning which incorporates the use of neural networks

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


meat from a young cow

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play