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(n.) The quality or state of being severe.
(n.) Gravity or austerity; extreme strictness; rigor; harshness; as, the severity of a reprimand or a reproof; severity of discipline or government; severity of penalties.
(n.) The quality or power of distressing or paining; extreme degree; extremity; intensity; inclemency; as, the severity of pain or anguish; the severity of cold or heat; the severity of the winter.
(n.) Exactness; rigorousness; strictness; as, the severity of a test.
(n.) Harshness; cruel treatment; sharpness of punishment; as, severity practiced on prisoners of war.
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Webster, Noah. Entry for 'Severity'. Noah Webster's American Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/web/s/severity.html. 1828.