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severe

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adjective British English pronunciation: severe /sɪˈvɪə(r)/
 
  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. 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.

  3. 6
    needing a lot of effort, skill, or ability

    They face a severe test of character against a vastly superior team.

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