austere

[ aw-steer ]
/ ɔˈstɪər /

adjective

Origin of austere

1300–50; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin austērus < Greek austērós harsh, rough, bitter

Related forms

aus·tere·ly, adverbaus·tere·ness, nounun·aus·tere, adjectiveun·aus·tere·ly, adverb

Synonym study

4. Austere, bleak, spartan, stark all suggest lack of ornament or adornment and of a feeling of comfort or warmth. Austere usually implies a purposeful avoidance of luxury or ease: simple, stripped-down, austere surroundings. Bleak adds a sense of forbidding coldness, hopelessness, depression: a bleak, dreary, windswept plain. Spartan, somewhat more forceful than austere, implies stern discipline and rigorous, even harsh, avoidance of all that is not strictly functional: a life of Spartan simplicity. Stark shares with bleak a sense of grimness and desolation: the stark cliff face.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for austere

British Dictionary definitions for austere

austere

/ (ɒˈstɪə) /

adjective

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

Derived Forms

austerely, adverbaustereness, noun

Word Origin for austere

C14: from Old French austère, from Latin austērus sour, from Greek austēros astringent; related to Greek hauein to dry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012