Se*vere" (?), a. [Compar. Severer (?); superl. Severest.] [L. severus; perhaps akin to Gr. ??? awe, ??? revered, holy, solemn, Goth. swikns innocent, chaste: cf. F. sévère. Cf. Asseverate, Persevere.] 1. Serious in feeeling or manner; sedate; grave; austere; not light, lively, or cheerful.

Your looks alter, as your subject does,
From kind to fierce, from wanton to severe.

2. Very strict in judgment, discipline, or government; harsh; not mild or indulgent; rigorous; as, severe criticism; severe punishment. "Custody severe." Milton.

Come! you are too severe a moraler.

Let your zeal, if it must be expressed in anger, be always more severe against thyself than against others.
Jer. Taylor.

3. Rigidly methodical, or adherent to rule or principle; exactly conformed to a standard; not allowing or employing unneccessary ornament, amplification, etc.; strict; -- said of style, argument, etc. "Restrained by reason and severe principles." Jer. Taylor.

The Latin, a most severe and compendious language.

4. Sharp; afflictive; distressing; violent; extreme; as, severe pain, anguish, fortune; severe cold.

5. Difficult to be endured; exact; critical; rigorous; as, a severe test.

Syn. -- Strict; grave; austere; stern; morose; rigid; exact; rigorous; hard; rough; harsh; censorious; tart; acrimonious; sarcastic; satirical; cutting; biting; keen; bitter; cruel. See Strict.

-- Se*vere"ly, adv. -- Se*vere"ness, n.