Severe vs Substantial - What's the difference?

severe | substantial |

As adjectives the difference between severe and substantial

is that severe is severe, harsh while substantial is having to substance; actually existing; real; as, substantial life.

As a noun substantial is

anything having substance; an essential part.




  • Very bad or intense.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2012-01
  • , author=Donald Worster , title=A Drier and Hotter Future , volume=100, issue=1, page=70 , magazine= citation , passage=Phoenix and Lubbock are both caught in severe drought, and it is going to get much worse. We may see many such [dust] storms in the decades ahead, along with species extinctions, radical disturbance of ecosystems, and intensified social conflict over land and water. Welcome to the Anthropocene, the epoch when humans have become a major geological and climatic force.}}
  • Strict or harsh.
  • Sober, plain in appearance, austere.
  • Synonyms

    * brutal * extreme * hard * harsh * intense * rigorous * serious


    * (very bad or intense) mild * (very bad or intense) minor * (strict or harsh) lenient

    Derived terms

    * severely (adverb) * severity (noun) * severeness (noun)


    * ----




    (en adjective)
  • Having to substance; actually existing; real; as, substantial life.
  • Not seeming or imaginary; not illusive; real; solid; true; veritable.
  • * "to do some substantial good, is the compensation for much incidental imperfection" - Cardinal Newman, The Rise and Progress of Universities
  • Corporeal; material; firm.
  • Having good substance; strong; stout; solid; firm; as, substantial cloth; a substantial fence or wall.
  • possessed of goods or an estate; moderately wealthy; responsible; as, a substantial freeholder.
  • Large in size, quantity, or value; as, a substantial amount of money; vast
  • Most important; essential.
  • Ample or full.
  • A substantial amount of people in this buliding
  • Significantly great.
  • Derived terms

    * consubstantial * insubstantial * substantiality * substantially * substantialness


    (en noun)
  • Anything having substance; an essential part.