WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
stern1 /stɝn/USA pronunciation
adj., -er, -est.
stern•ly, adv.: The judge spoke sternly to the lawyer.
stern•ness, n. [uncountable]
stern2 /stɝn/USA pronunciation
- firm, strict, or exacting:stern discipline.
- hard, harsh, or severe:a stern reprimand.
- difficult and unpleasantly serious:going through stern times.
- grim or forbidding in appearance:a stern expression.
- Nautical, Naval Termsthe rear part of a vessel or boat (often opposed to stemstem).
- the back or rear of anything.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
stern /stɜːn/ adj
Etymology: Old English styrne; related to Old High German stornēn to alarm, Latin sternāx stubborn, Greek stereos hardˈsternly adv ˈsternness n
- showing uncompromising or inflexible resolve; firm, strict, or authoritarian
- lacking leniency or clemency; harsh or severe
- relentless; unyielding: the stern demands of parenthood
- having an austere or forbidding appearance or nature
stern /stɜːn/ n
- the rear or after part of a vessel, opposite the bow or stem
- the rear part of any object
Etymology: 13th Century: from Old Norse stjōrn steering; see steer1
- relating to or located at the stern
Stern /stɜːn/ n
- Isaac. 1920–2001, US concert violinist, born in (what is now) Ukraine
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