Definition for SE-VER'I-TY

SE-VER'I-TY, n. [L. severitas.]

  1. Harshness; rigor; austerity; want of mildness or indulgence; as, the severity of a reprimand or reproof.
  2. Rigor; extreme strictness; as, severity of discipline or government.
  3. Excessive rigor; extreme degree or amount. Severity of penalties or punishments often defeats the object by exciting pity.
  4. Extremity; quality or power of distressing; as, the severity of pain or anguish.
  5. Extreme degree; as, the severity of cold or heat.
  6. Extreme coldness or inclemency; as, the severity of the winter.
  7. Harshness; cruel treatment; sharpness of punishment; as, severity practiced on prisoners of war.
  8. Exactness; rigor; niceness; as, the severity of a test.
  9. Strictness; rigid accuracy. Confining myself to the severity of truth. – Dryden.

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