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See also: Severus



According to De Vaan, from Proto-Italic *seɣwēros, from a collective derivation of the noun Proto-Indo-European *seǵʰwr̥, from Proto-Indo-European *seǵʰ- (to hold).[1]

Other etymologists, such as Meiser, posit this word to be from se- + verus, but De Vaan notes a heavy semantic mismatch.[1]



sevērus (feminine sevēra, neuter sevērum, comparative sevērior, superlative sevērissimus); first/second-declension adjective

  1. severe, serious, strict, stern, stringent, austere, harsh, grave (in demeanor)
    Synonyms: trux, ferōx, atrōx, violēns, immānis, efferus, ferus, crūdēlis, barbaricus, silvāticus, acerbus, ācer
    Antonyms: mītis, tranquillus, misericors, placidus, quietus, clemens


First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative sevērus sevēra sevērum sevērī sevērae sevēra
Genitive sevērī sevērae sevērī sevērōrum sevērārum sevērōrum
Dative sevērō sevērō sevērīs
Accusative sevērum sevēram sevērum sevērōs sevērās sevēra
Ablative sevērō sevērā sevērō sevērīs
Vocative sevēre sevēra sevērum sevērī sevērae sevēra

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • Catalan: sever
  • English: severe
  • French: sévère
  • Galician: severo
  • Italian: severo
  • Portuguese: severo
  • Sicilian: siviru
  • Spanish: severo


  1. 1.0 1.1 De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 560

Further reading[edit]

  • severus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • severus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • severus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to be brought up under strict discipline: severa disciplina contineri
    • a stern critic of morals: severus morum castigator
    • to be a strict disciplinarian in one's household: severum imperium in suis exercere, tenere (De Sen. 11. 37)
  • severus”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • severus”, in William Smith, editor (1848) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, London: John Murray
  • severe”, in The Century Dictionary [], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.