Synonym of the day

Synonym of the day


severe is a synonym of stern

adjective [ suh-veer ]

severe is another word for stern

Stern is the best word to describe inflexibility and firmness, especially in an authoritative way, and can suggest a withdrawn or forbidding quality (a stern teacher).

Severe is the best word to describe strictness and unsympathetic harshness in delivering discipline or punishment (a severe critic).

✅ When describing things like expressions or ways of talking, both words do not necessarily imply that the individual’s personality is stern or severe (He had a severe expression, but his words were kind; It takes a while to get used to her stern personality).

Stern and severe imply authority. Severe often suggests that the person in question is mean or cruel, but stern is more neutral (My colleague is very severe; The captain was thoughtful but stern).

We hope we don’t sound too stern in encouraging you to check out these synonyms for severe.

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contain is a synonym of hold

verb [ kuhn-teyn ]

contain is another word for hold

Hold and contain can be used synonymously in most cases.

✅ However, hold usually emphasizes the container (The trailer should hold all the furniture), whereas contain emphasizes what is being kept in the container (The backpack contained all the food we would need for the trip).

Hold and contain can both refer to something’s capacity, where the amount it can hold is the absolute maximum capacity (The can contains 16 ounces; The elevator holds ten people).

Try to contain your excitement about these synonyms!

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individual is a synonym of person

noun [ in-duh-vij-oo-uhl ]

individual is another word for person

Person is the best word to refer to a human being (There’s a person waiting to see you).

Individual is the best word to refer to a human being when you want to emphasize them as separate (He was a very quiet individual).

Person and individual can be used interchangeably. You can use person more generally, whereas individual is usually used to refer to a single member of a group, to separate them from the rest (There were several individuals who expressed their disgust).

Individual can sometimes be used in formal contexts, or in a detached way (We decided to arrest the individual; what a rude individual).

Try writing a short story about a strange individual with the help of Grammar Coach.

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