Synonyms of harsh
1 severeDictionary • Hundreds of political detainees were held under harsh conditions.
severe • wearing her felt hats and severe grey suits
hard • Those were hard times.
tough • She had a pretty tough childhood.
grim • Her expression was grim and unpleasant.
stark • the stark, white, characterless fireplace in the drawing room
stringent • Its drug-testing procedures are the most stringent in the world.
austere • an austere, distant, cold person
Spartan • Their spartan lifestyle prohibits a fridge or a phone.
2 bleakDictionary • The weather grew harsh and unpredictable.
bleak • The weather can be quite bleak on the coast.
cold • It was bitterly cold outside.
freezing • a freezing January afternoon
severe • The start of the year brought a very severe winter in Britain.
bitter • the scene of bitter fighting
icy • An icy wind blew across the moor.
3 cruelDictionary • the harsh experience of war
cruel • the cruel practice of bullfighting
savage • This was a savage attack on a defenceless young girl.
brutal • He was the victim of a very brutal murder.
ruthless • a ruthless totalitarian power
relentless • He was the most relentless enemy I have ever known.
unrelenting • in the face of severe opposition and unrelenting criticism
barbarous • It was a barbarous attack on a purely civilian train.
pitiless • He saw the pitiless eyes of his enemy.
4 hardDictionary • He said many harsh and unkind things.
hard • His father was a hard man.
sharp • ‘Don't criticize your mother,’ was his sharp reprimand.
severe • The team has suffered severe criticism from influential figures.
bitter • The leaves taste rather bitter.
stern • He said stern measures would be taken against the killers.
unpleasant • They tolerated what they felt was an unpleasant situation.
abusive • her cruel and abusive husband
unkind • All last summer he'd been unkind to her.
unfeeling • an unfeeling bully who used his huge size to frighten people
5 drasticDictionary • more harsh laws governing the behaviour, status and even clothes of women
drastic • Drastic measures are needed.
severe • This was a dreadful crime and a severe sentence is necessary.
punitive • The Green party wants punitive taxes on petrol.
Draconian • draconian censorship laws
6 raucousDictionary • It's a pity she has such a loud harsh voice.
raucous • the raucous cries of the sea-birds
rough • ‘Wait!’a rough voice commanded.
jarring • a jarring, nasal voice
grating • I can't stand that grating voice of his.
strident • She tried to laugh, and the sound was harsh and strident.
rasping • Both men sang in a deep raspy tone.
discordant • They produced a discordant sound.
guttural • He spoke in a low guttural voice.
dissonant • Guitarists kept strumming wildly dissonant chords.
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• draconian censorship laws
Spartanof or relating to Sparta or its citizens
• Their spartan lifestyle prohibits a fridge or a phone.
abusiveSomeone who is abusive behaves in a cruel and violent way towards other people.
• her cruel and abusive husband
Thesaurus for harsh from the Collins English Thesaurus