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severe - definition and synonyms


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adjective severe pronunciation in British English /sɪˈvɪə(r)/
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  1. 1
    a severe problem is very serious and worrying
    Overcrowding in secondary schools is pretty severe.
    The reforms have caused severe economic hardship for the poorest members of the population.
    1. a.
      a severe pain, injury, or illness is serious and unpleasant
      One of the passengers had suffered severe bruising and serious cuts.
      severe stomach pain
  2. 2
    severe weather is extremely unpleasant and likely to cause harm or damage
    Severe thunderstorms are forecast for Tuesday night.
  3. 3
    very strict or extreme
    The country has come under severe criticism for its human rights record.
    The most severe penalty he could get is ten years in prison.
    1. a.
      strict and giving strong punishments when rules are not obeyed
      severe on: She was equally severe on students who were late for class.
  4. 4
    unfriendly and not smiling
    a severe expression
    Synonyms and related words
  5. 6
    needing a lot of effort, skill, or ability
    They face a severe test of character against a vastly superior team.


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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a stupid person

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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