Pronunciation: (su-vēr'),[key] —adj.,-ver•er, -ver•est. 1. harsh; unnecessarily extreme: severe criticism; severe laws. 2. serious or stern in manner or appearance: a severe face. 3. grave; critical: a severe illness. 4. rigidly restrained in style, taste, manner, etc.; simple, plain, or austere.
5. causing discomfort or distress by extreme character or conditions, as weather, cold, or heat; unpleasantly violent, as rain or wind, or a blow or shock.
6. difficult to endure, perform, fulfill, etc.: a severe test of his powers. 7. rigidly exact, accurate, or methodical: severe standards.