- severe in manner or appearance; uncompromising; strict; forbidding: an austere teacher.
- rigorously self-disciplined and severely moral; ascetic; abstinent: the austere quality of life in the convent.
- grave; sober; solemn; serious: an austere manner.
- without excess, luxury, or ease; simple; limited; severe: an austere life.
- severely simple; without ornament: austere writing.
- lacking softness; hard: an austere bed of straw.
- rough to the taste; sour or harsh in flavor.
Origin of austere
Antonyms for austere
Related Words for austerestringent, somber, forbidding, rigid, exacting, sober, formal, subdued, rustic, unadorned, stark, bleak, ascetic, astringent, cold, earnest, grave, grim, hard, harsh
Examples from the Web for austere
Contemporary Examples of austere
The cells are austere—essentially hardened trailers—that cost about $40,000 each to build.9/11 Mastermind Is Afraid of the Ladies
December 16, 2014
The site is not unlike North Korea itself: austere and more than a little bit dated-looking.North Korea's Top College: Brainwash U
December 13, 2014
Multi-story hotel towers stand stripped of any ornamentation, and seem almost Soviet in their austere and honest decay.The Ghost Hotels of the Catskills
August 25, 2014
“It looks spare and austere, but we spent 1,000 hours creating these,” Snoeren said.
The designs were meant to be “stark” and “austere,” the designers said, and there were no straight seams in the creations.
Historical Examples of austere
His wife was an austere woman, who had once been kindly, and perhaps handsome.American Notes
May I once, and for the last time, assume the austere rights of friendship?Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
The Federal expanded with surprise and then with austere pleasure.The Cavalier
George Washington Cable
"I have done with you, Herbert Jameson," he said, with austere dignity.
And yet it must not be thought that his was an austere and grave existence.Sir William Herschel: His Life and Works
Edward Singleton Holden
- stern or severe in attitude or manneran austere schoolmaster
- grave, sober, or seriousan austere expression
- self-disciplined, abstemious, or ascetican austere life
- severely simple or plainan austere design
Word Origin for austere
early 14c., from Old French austere (Modern French austère) and directly from Latin austerus "dry, harsh, sour, tart," from Greek austeros "bitter, harsh," especially "making the tongue dry" (originally used of fruits, wines), metaphorically "austere, harsh," from PIE *saus- "dry" (cf. Greek auos "dry," auein "to dry"). Use in English is figurative: "stern, severe, very simple." Related: Austerely.