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adjective aus·tere \-ˈstir also -ˈster\

: simple or plain : not fancy

of a person : having a serious and unfriendly quality

: having few pleasures : simple and harsh

Full Definition of AUSTERE

a :  stern and cold in appearance or manner
b :  somber, grave <an austere critic>
:  morally strict :  ascetic
:  markedly simple or unadorned <an austere office> <an austere style of writing>
:  giving little or no scope for pleasure <austere diets>
of a wine :  having the flavor of acid or tannin predominant over fruit flavors usually indicating a capacity for aging
aus·tere·ly adverb
aus·tere·ness noun

Examples of AUSTERE

  1. They choose austere furnishings for the office.
  2. He was known for his austere style of writing.
  3. They lived an austere life in the country.
  4. This is a national conceit that is the comprehensible result of the religious beliefs of the early New England colonists (Calvinist religious dissenters, moved by millenarian expectations and theocratic ideas), which convinced them that their austere settlements in the wilderness represented a new start in humanity's story. —William Pfaff, New York Review, 15 Feb. 2007

Origin of AUSTERE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin austerus, from Greek austēros harsh, severe; akin to Greek hauos dry — more at sere
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of AUSTERE

severe, stern, austere, ascetic mean given to or marked by strict discipline and firm restraint. severe implies standards enforced without indulgence or laxity and may suggest harshness <severe military discipline>. stern stresses inflexibility and inexorability of temper or character <stern arbiters of public morality>. austere stresses absence of warmth, color, or feeling and may apply to rigorous restraint, simplicity, or self-denial <living an austere life in the country>. ascetic implies abstention from pleasure and comfort or self-indulgence as spiritual discipline <the ascetic life of the monks>.
AUSTERELY Defined for Kids


adjective aus·tere \-ˈstir\

Definition of AUSTERE for Kids

:  seeming or acting serious and unfriendly <an austere family>
:  1plain 1 <an austere room>
aus·tere·ly adverb


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