Pronunciation: (su-ver'i-tē), [key]
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 pain.
4. grievousness; hard or trying character or effect: The severity of his loss was finally becoming apparent.
5. rigid exactness or accuracy.
6. an instance of strict or severe behavior, punishment, etc.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.