Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The quality of being austere.
  • noun Severe and rigid economy.
  • noun An austere habit or practice.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Harshness or astringency of taste.
  • noun Severity of manner, life, etc.; rigor; strictness; harshness of treatment or demeanor.
  • noun Severe or rigorous simplicity; absence of adornment or luxury.
  • noun Severe or ascetic practices: chiefly in the plural: as, the austerities of the Flagellants.
  • noun Synonyms Self-sacrifice, Asceticism, etc. (see self-denial); sternness, harshness. See comparison under austere.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete Sourness and harshness to the taste.
  • noun Severity of manners or life; extreme rigor or strictness; harsh discipline.
  • noun Plainness; freedom from adornment; severe simplicity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Severity of manners or life; extreme rigor or strictness; harsh discipline.
  • noun Freedom from adornment; plainness; severe simplicity.
  • noun economics A policy of deficit-cutting, lower spending, and a reduction in the amount of benefits and public services provided.
  • noun obsolete Sourness and harshness to the taste.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the trait of great self-denial (especially refraining from worldly pleasures)

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French austerite ("harshness, severity"), from Latin austēritās ("harshness, sourness"). See austere.

Examples

Comments

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  • "Protesters estimated to number about 100,000 have taken part in a protest in the Irish capital, Dublin, over government austerity measures. They were especially unhappy about plans to introduce a pension levy on public sector workers and freeze their pay."

    - BBC, Thousands protest in Dublin over economy, abc.net.au, 22 Feb 2009.

    February 22, 2009

  • The Gaels were never big fans of austerity measures...

    February 22, 2009