[ aw-ster-i-tee ]
/ 蓴藞st蓻r 瑟 ti /
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noun, plural aus路ter路i路ties.
austere quality; severity of manner, life, etc.; sternness.
Usually aus路ter路i路ties. ascetic practices: austerities of monastery life.
harsh economic policies, as increased taxes or decreased funding for social services, usually adopted in response to government debt or deficits (often used attributively): Economic growth slowed under austerity.The legislature tried to reduce the budget deficit with austerity measures that raised the retirement age and cut pension benefits.
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Origin of austerity

First recorded in 1300鈥50; Middle English austerite , from Anglo-French, Old French austerite , from Latin aust膿rit膩s; see austere, -ity

synonym study for austerity

2. See hardship.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023


What does聽austerity mean?

Austerity means sternness, severity, or a state of extreme self-discipline or minimalistic living.

Austerity is the noun form of the adjective austere, which most commonly means extremely stern or strict or without any frills or luxuries.

The word is often used in the context of a national economy in which services and access to certain goods have been scaled back by the government during times of economic crisis. This sense is especially seen in the phrase austerity measures.聽聽

The term is sometimes used in its plural form to refer to ascetic practices, like living in a monastery鈥攖hink of a monk who lives in a bedroom with only a metal cot and eats plain rice every day.

Example: The government has turned to austerity to help curb the rising debt.

Where does聽austerity come from?

The first records of the word austerity in English come from around the late 1300s. It ultimately derives from the Greek aust膿r贸s, meaning 鈥渉arsh, rough, bitter.鈥

Austerity involves living in harsh, rough, and severely simple conditions. Sometimes, it鈥檚 on purpose. The austerities of life in a monastery are typically intended to help those who live there focus on the spiritual aspect of life without being distracted by anything that鈥檚 considered frivolous.

In many cases, though, austerity is not by choice. People forced to live in austerity must get along in the most minimalistic conditions, without any luxuries and often without some things that other people considered necessities. Austerity measures implemented by governments often involve cutting everything from the budget that鈥檚 not absolutely essential, leaving citizens to live in extremely austere conditions.

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What are some other forms of austerity?

What are some words that often get used in discussing austerity?


How is聽austerity used in real life?

The word austerity is often used to refer to strict economic conditions.



Try using聽austerity!

Which of the following words is MOST likely to be associated with austerity?

A. luxury
B. convenience
C. abundance
D. simplicity

How to use austerity in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for austerity

/ (蓲藞st蓻r瑟t瑟) /

noun plural -ties
the state or quality of being austere
(often plural) an austere habit, practice, or act
  1. reduced availability of luxuries and consumer goods, esp when brought about by government policy
  2. (as modifier)an austerity budget
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012