WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
stern1 /stɜrn/USA pronunciation   adj.,  -er, -est. 
  1. firm, strict, or exacting:stern discipline.
  2. hard, harsh, or severe:a stern reprimand.
  3. difficult and unpleasantly serious:going through stern times.
  4. grim or forbidding in appearance:a stern expression.
stern•ly, adv.: The judge spoke sternly to the lawyer.
stern•ness, n. [uncountable]

stern2 /stɜrn/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Nautical, Naval Termsthe rear part of a vessel or boat (often opposed to stem).
  2. the back or rear of anything.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
stern1 (stûrn),USA pronunciation  adj.,  -er, -est. 
  1. firm, strict, or uncompromising:stern discipline.
  2. hard, harsh, or severe:a stern reprimand.
  3. rigorous or austere;
    of an unpleasantly serious character:stern times.
  4. grim or forbidding in aspect:a stern face.
sternly, adv. 
sternness, n. 
  • bef. 1000; Middle English; Old English styrne
    • 1, 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged adamant, unrelenting, unsympathetic, cruel, unfeeling.
      Stern, severe, harsh agree in referring to methods, aspects, manners, or facial expressions.
      Stern implies uncompromising, inflexible firmness, and sometimes a hard, forbidding, or withdrawn aspect or nature:a stern parent.Severe implies strictness, lack of sympathy, and a tendency to impose a hard discipline on others:a severe judge.Harsh suggests a great severity and roughness, and cruel, unfeeling treatment of others:a harsh critic.
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged lenient.

stern2 (stûrn),USA pronunciation  n. 
  1. Nautical, Naval Termsthe after part of a vessel (often opposed to stem).
  2. the back or rear of anything.
  3. Astronomy(cap.) the constellation Puppis.
  4. Sport[Fox Hunting.]the tail of a hound.
  • Old Norse stjōrn steering (done aft; see sternpost)
  • Middle English sterne, probably 1250–1300

Stern (stûrn),USA pronunciation  n. 
  1. BiographicalIsaac, born 1920, U.S. violinist, born in Russia.
  2. BiographicalOtto, 1888–1969, U.S. physicist, born in Germany: Nobel prize 1943.

stern-, 
  • var. of  sterno- before a vowel:sternite.

  • WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
    Sterno  (stûrnō),USA pronunciation 
  • Chemistry, Trademarks[Trademark.]flammable hydrocarbon jelly packaged in a small can for use as a portable heat source for cooking.

  • sterno-, 
  • Anatomya combining form representing  sternum in compound words:sternocostal.
  • Also,[esp. before a vowel,] stern-. 

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    stern /stɜːn/ adj
    1. showing uncompromising or inflexible resolve; firm, strict, or authoritarian
    2. lacking leniency or clemency; harsh or severe
    3. relentless; unyielding: the stern demands of parenthood
    4. having an austere or forbidding appearance or nature
    Etymology: Old English styrne; related to Old High German stornēn to alarm, Latin sternāx stubborn, Greek stereos hard

    ˈsternly adv ˈsternness n
    stern /stɜːn/ n
    1. the rear or after part of a vessel, opposite the bow or stem
    2. the rear part of any object
    adj
    1. relating to or located at the stern
    Etymology: 13th Century: from Old Norse stjōrn steering; see steer1



    Stern /stɜːn/ n
    1. Isaac. 1920–2001, US concert violinist, born in (what is now) Ukraine



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