severe, cruel or unkind Opposition politicians have been subjected to harsh penalties for organising protests against the governing regime.
- Harsh punishment may deter (= prevent) crime.
- The government rejected charges by prisoners that conditions are harsh.
- He was subjected to harsh treatment.
- The company came under particularly harsh criticism for failing to fix the defective goods.
- Some crimes justify harsh criminal penalties.
- harshly (adverb)
- harshness (noun)