Roget's Thesaurus: Entry 739 (Severity)

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#739. Severity.-- N. severity; strictness, harshness &c. adj.; rigor, stringency, austerity; inclemency &c. (pitilessness) 914a; arrogance &c. 885; precisianism[obs].

arbitrary power; absolutism, despotism; dictatorship, autocracy, tyranny, domineering, oppression; assumption, usurpation; inquisition, reign of terror, martial law; iron heel, iron rule, iron hand, iron sway; tight grasp; brute force, brute strength; coercion &c. 744; strong hand, tight hand.

hard lines, hard measure; tender mercies [ironical]; sharp practice; pipe-clay, officialism.

tyrant, disciplinarian, precisian[obs], martinet, stickler, bashaw[obs], despot, hard master, Draco, oppressor, inquisitor, extortioner, harpy, vulture; accipitres[obs], birds of prey, raptorials[obs], raptors[obs].

V. be -severe &c. adj.

assume, usurp, arrogate, take liberties; domineer, bully &c. 885; tyrannize, inflict, wreak, stretch a point, put on the screw; be hard upon; bear a heavy hand on, lay a heavy hand on; be down upon, come down upon; ill treat; deal hardly with, deal hard measure to; rule with a rod of iron, chastise with scorpions; dye with blood; oppress, override; trample under foot; tread under foot, tread upon, trample upon, tread down upon, trample down upon; crush under an iron heel, ride roughshod over; rivet the yoke; hold a tight hand, keep a tight hand; force down the throat; coerce &c. 744; give no quarter &c. (pitiless) 914a.

Adj. severe; strict, hard, harsh, dour, rigid, stiff, stern, rigorous, uncompromising, exacting, exigent, exigeant[obs], inexorable, inflexible, obdurate, austere, hard-headed, hard-nosed, hard-shell [U.S.], relentless, Spartan, Draconian, stringent, strait-laced, searching, unsparing, iron- handed, peremptory, absolute, positive, arbitrary, imperative; coercive &c. 744; tyrannical, extortionate, grinding, withering, oppressive, inquisitorial; inclement &c. (ruthless) 914a; cruel &c. (malevolent) 907; haughty, arrogant &c. 885; precisian[obs].

Adv. severely &c. adj.; with a high hand, with a strong hand, with a tight hand, with a heavy hand.

at the point of the sword, at the point of the bayonet.

Phr. Delirant reges plectuntur Achivi[Lat]; manu forti[Lat]; ogni debole ha sempre il suo tiranno[It].