Definition for STERN

STERN, a. [Sax. styrn, stern; G. starr, staring; störrig, stubborn. See Stare, Starch, Stark, with which this word is probably connected. Gr. στερεος.]

  1. Severe; austere; fixed with an aspect of severity and authority; as, a stern look; a stern countenance; a stern frown. I would outstare the sternest eyes that look. – Shak.
  2. Severe of manner; rigid; harsh; cruel. Stern as tutors, and as uncles hard. – Dryden. Ambition should be made of sterner stuff. – Shak.
  3. Hard; afflictive. If wolves had at thy gate howl'd that stern time. – Shak.
  4. Rigidly steadfast; immovable. Stern virtue is the growth of few soils. – Hamilton.

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