The definition of severe is someone or something that is very serious, harsh or critical.(adjective)
An example of severe as an adjective is the phrase severe punishment which is physically disciplining a child.
See severe in Webster's New World College Dictionary
Origin: < MFr < OFr < L severus, prob. < se-, apart (see secede) + IE base *wer-, (to be) friendly > OE wær, faith, pledge, bond (of friendship)
See severe in American Heritage Dictionary 4
adjective se·ver·er, se·ver·est
Origin: Latin sevērus, serious, strict; see segh- in Indo-European roots.
Learn more about severe