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1

stern

play
adjective \ˈstərn\

Simple Definition of stern

  • : very serious especially in an unfriendly way

  • : expressing strong disapproval or criticism

  • : not likely to change or become weaker

Full Definition of stern

  1. 1a :  having a definite hardness or severity of nature or manner :  austereb :  expressive of severe displeasure :  harsh

  2. 2 :  forbidding or gloomy in appearance

  3. 3 :  inexorable <stern necessity>

  4. 4 :  sturdy, stout <a stern resolve>

stern·ly adverb
stern·ness play \ˈstərn-nəs\ noun

Examples of stern

  1. He gave me a stern look.

  2. <the army post's stern commander always had the utmost respect of those who served under him>



Origin of stern

Middle English sterne, from Old English styrne; akin to Old English starian to stare — more at stare


First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of stern

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>.

Rhymes with stern


2

stern

noun

Simple Definition of stern

  • : the back part of a boat or ship

Full Definition of stern

  1. 1 :  the rear end of a boat

  2. 2 :  a hinder or rear part :  the last or latter part

Origin of stern

Middle English, rudder, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse stjōrn steering, rudder; akin to Old English stīeran to steer — more at steer


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Nautical Terms


Stern

play
biographical name \ˈstərn\

Definition of Stern

  1. Isaac 1920–2001 Am. (Russ.-born) violinist




Stern

biographical name

Definition of Stern

  1. Otto 1888–1969 Am. (Ger.-born) physicist





STERN Defined for Kids

1

stern

play
adjective \ˈstərn\

Definition of stern

stern·erstern·est

  1. 1 :  hard and severe in nature or manner :  very strict and serious <a stern judge> <a stern warning>

  2. 2 :  showing severe displeasure or disapproval <The elder's stern expression softened. — Brian Jacques, Redwall>

  3. 3 :  firm and not changeable <She showed stern determination to succeed.>

stern·ly adverb <speak sternly>



2

stern

play
noun

Definition of stern

  1. :  the rear end of a boat





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