(New American Roget's College Thesaurus)
1. severity; strictness, harshness, rigor, stringency, austerity, straight face; ill treatment; inclemency, pitilessness, arrogance. See insolence, violence, authority.
2. (strict rule) arbitrary power, absolutism, despotism; dictatorship, autocracy, tyranny, domineering, oppression; inquisition, reign of terror, martial law; iron heel or hand; brute force or strength; coercion, compulsion; strong hand.
3. (strict ruler) tyrant, dictator, disciplinarian, martinet, stickler, despot, taskmaster, hard master, Draco, oppressor, inquisitor, extortioner, harpy, vulture, Simon Legree, slavedriver, drillmaster. Slang, prick, hard-ass.
Verbs — be severe, give no quarter, domineer, bully, tyrannize; rack, put the screws on, be hard on, mistreat; come down on; ill-treat; rule with a rod of iron; oppress, override; trample [under foot], tread upon, crush under an iron heel, crack the whip, crack down, ride roughshod over; keep a tight rein; work in a sweatshop. Slang, play hardball.
Adjectives — severe, strict, hard, harsh, astringent, tough, dour, rigid, stiff, stern, rigorous, uncompromising, unyielding, heavy-handed, exacting, exigent, inexorable, inflexible, obdurate, hard-boiled, hard-as-nails, austere, relentless, merciless, pitiless, unforgiving, Draconian, Spartan, stringent, straitlaced, searching, unsparing, hard-fisted, ironhanded, peremptory, high-handed, absolute, positive, imperative; hard-and-fast, coercive, puritanical, dictatorial, tyrannical, extortionate, grinding, withering, oppressive, inquisitorial; inclement, ruthless, cruel, grueling; cutthroat; haughty, arrogant. Slang, hard-nosed, hard-line.
Adverbs — severely, etc.; with a high or heavy hand; at sword's point.
Quotations — Government by a tyrant is the worst form of rule (St. Thomas Aquinas), The face of tyranny is always mild at first (Racine), Kindness effects more than severity (Aesop), Severity breedeth fear (Francis Bacon).
Antonyms, see moderation, neglect, pity.
(Roget's IV) n.
Syn. asperity, sharpness, acerbity, grimness, hardness, unkindness, hardheartedness, strictness, austerity, rigor; see also cruelty .
Ant. pity*, kindness, softness.
(Roget's Thesaurus II) noun 1. The fact or condition of being rigorous and unsparing: austerity, hardness, harshness, rigidity, rigor, rigorousness, sternness, strictness, stringency, toughness. See EASY. 2. Exceptionally great concentration, power, or force, especially in activity: depth (often used in plural), ferociousness, ferocity, fierceness, fury, intensity, pitch, vehemence, vehemency, violence. See BIG, STRONG.

English dictionary for students. 2013.

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  • Severity — Se*ver i*ty, n.; pl. {Severities}. [L. severitas: cf. F. s[ e]v[ e]rit[ e].] The quality or state of being severe. Specifically: [1913 Webster] (a) Gravity or austerity; extreme strictness; rigor; harshness; as, the severity of a reprimand or a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Severity — may refer to:* Severity (2008 video game), an upcoming video game * a dimension for classifying seriousness for Technical support issues …   Wikipedia

  • severity — I noun acerbitas, acerbity, acrimony, asperity, austerity, causticity, cruel treatment, cruelty, ferity, ferociousness, ferocity, fierceness, force, fury, gravitas, gravity, grimness, harshness, inclemency, inexorability, inflexibility,… …   Law dictionary

  • severity — late 15c., austerity or strictness of life, from M.Fr. severite, from L. severitas, from severus stern, strict, serious, possibly from *se vero without kindness, from se without (see SECRET (Cf. secret)) + *vero kindness, neuter ablative of verus …   Etymology dictionary

  • severity — [sə ver′ə tē] n. [Fr sévérité < L severitas] 1. the quality or condition of being severe; specif., a) strictness; harshness b) gravity, as of expression c) rigid accuracy d) extreme plainness or restraint, as in style …   English World dictionary

  • Severity — (Roget s Thesaurus) < N PARAG:Severity >N GRP: N 1 Sgm: N 1 severity severity Sgm: N 1 strictness strictness harshness &c. >Adj. Sgm: N 1 rigor rigor stringency austerity Sgm: N 1 inclemency inclemency …   English dictionary for students

  • severity — se|ver|i|ty [ sı verəti ] noun uncount 1. ) the seriousness of something bad or unpleasant: severity of: The severity of the storm was less than expected. 2. ) the degree to which something is strict or extreme: severity of: She was surprised by… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • severity — UK [sɪˈverətɪ] / US noun [uncountable] 1) the seriousness of something bad or unpleasant severity of: The severity of the storm was less than expected. 2) the degree to which something is strict or extreme severity of: She was surprised by the… …   English dictionary

  • severity — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ great ▪ utmost (esp. BrE) ▪ moderate ▪ increasing ▪ varying ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • severity — /seuh ver i tee/, n., pl. severities. 1. harshness, sternness, or rigor: Their lives were marked by severity. 2. austere simplicity, as of style, manner, or taste: The severity of the decor was striking. 3. intensity or sharpness, as of cold or… …   Universalium

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