Definition of severity noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//sɪˈverəti//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɪˈverəti//
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  1. 1the fact or condition of something being extremely bad or serious A prison sentence should match the severity of the crime. The chances of a full recovery will depend on the severity of her injuries. the severity of the problem
  2. 2the fact of something, especially a punishment, being very strict or extreme synonym harshness (1) The severity of the sentence surprised many people.
  3. 3the quality of not being kind or sympathetic and showing disapproval of somebody/something synonym sternness He frowned with mock severity.
  4. 4the fact of being extremely difficult and requiring a lot of skill or ability synonym stiffness The severity of the task ahead became apparent.
  5. 5(disapproving) the quality of being extremely plain and lacking any decoration The elaborate facade contrasts strongly with the severity of the interior.