from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Hard, harsh, or severe in manner or character: a stern disciplinarian. See Synonyms at severe.
- adj. Grim, gloomy, or forbidding in appearance or outlook.
- adj. Firm or unyielding; uncompromising.
- adj. Inexorable; relentless: stern necessity.
- n. Nautical The rear part of a ship or boat.
- n. A rear part or section.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Having a hardness and severity of nature or manner.
- adj. Grim and forbidding in appearance.
- n. The rear part or after end of a ship or vessel.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The black tern.
- adj. Having a certain hardness or severity of nature, manner, or aspect; hard; severe; rigid; rigorous; austere; fixed; unchanging; unrelenting; hence, serious; resolute; harsh
- n. The helm or tiller of a vessel or boat; also, the rudder.
- n. The after or rear end of a ship or other vessel, or of a boat; the part opposite to the stem, or prow.
- n. Fig.: The post of management or direction.
- n. The hinder part of anything.
- n. The tail of an animal; -- now used only of the tail of a dog.
- adj. Being in the stern, or being astern.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Severe in disposition or conduct; austere; harsh; rigorous; hard.
- Characterized by severity or rigor; especially, resulting from or expressive of harshness: as, a stern reply; a stern glance; a stern rebuke.
- Grim or forbidding in aspect; gloomy; repelling.
- Rough; violent; tumultuous; fierce.
- Rigid; stringent; strict.
- Stout; strong; heavy.
- Firm; unyielding; inflexible; hard.
- Synonyms Severe. Harsh, Strict, etc. See austere.
- 1 and
- Unrelenting, uncompromising, inflexible.
- n. The rudder or helm of a vessel.
- n. Hence, figuratively, any instrument of management or direction; a guiding agent or agency; also, a post of direction or control.
- n. The hinder part of a ship or boat, where the rudder is placed; the part furthest removed from the stem or prow. See also cut under poop.
- n. The hinder parts, backside, buttocks, or rump; the tail of an animal.
- To steer; guide.
- To back (a boat) with the oars; back water; row backward.
- To draw back; back water: said of a boat or its crew.
- n. Same as starn.
- n. A tern.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. severely simple
- n. the rear part of a ship
- n. the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on
- adj. severe and unremitting in making demands
- n. United States concert violinist (born in Russia in 1920)
- adj. of a stern or strict bearing or demeanor; forbidding in aspect
- adj. not to be placated or appeased or moved by entreaty
Middle English sterne, from Old English styrne; see ster-1 in Indo-European roots.
Middle English sterne, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse stjōrn, rudder; see stā- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English stern, sterne, sturne, from Old English styrne ("stern, grave, strict, austere, hard, severe, cruel"), from Proto-Germanic *sturnijaz (“angry, astonished, shocked”), from Proto-Indo-European *ster-, *ter- (“rigid, stiff”). Cognate with Scots stern ("bold, courageous, fierce, resolute"), Old High German stornēn ("to be astonished"), Dutch stuurs ("glum, austere"), Swedish stursk ("insolent"). (Wiktionary)