noun, plural aus·ter·i·ties.
CAN YOU FEEL THE WEAL WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ?
Origin of austerity
Words nearby austerity
What does 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.
Example: The government has turned to austerity to help curb the rising debt.
Where does austerity come from?
The first records of the word austerity in English come from around the late 1300s. It ultimately derives from the Greek austērós, meaning “harsh, rough, bitter.”
Austerity involves living in harsh, rough, and severely simple conditions. Sometimes, it’s 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’s 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’s not absolutely essential, leaving citizens to live in extremely austere conditions.
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How is austerity used in real life?
The word austerity is often used to refer to strict economic conditions.
Harvard's choice to do belt-tightening while sitting on a $41 billion endowment nicely shows how austerity is fundamentally a ritual performance meant to overwrite a moral narrative onto the set of priorities where money is more important than lives
— Tom Scocca (@tomscocca) April 15, 2020
— The Guardian (@guardian) July 5, 2015
Early Monday morning, Saudi Arabia announced a slew of austerity measures to cope with the fiscal impact of the coronavirus pandemic and oil price rout, tripling its value-added tax and cutting a cost-of-living allowance for government workers:https://t.co/HlMl39xCxF
— Vivian Nereim (@viviannereim) May 11, 2020
Try using austerity!
Which of the following words is MOST likely to be associated with austerity?
Example sentences from the Web for austerity
Now cities are largely on their own, as austerity and gridlock grip Washington.
Walmart is about to teach everybody a lesson in how austerity can affect the consumer economy—and quick.
Pop Art exploded onto the scene as an unexpected post-war party—a daring distraction from the anxieties of an age of austerity.15 Most Bonkers Chairs at Pop Art Design in London|Chloë Ashby|October 23, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Thanks to austerity, about one million government positions have vanished, many of them at the state and local level.
And, ironically, in this age of austerity, CGI has been doing quite well.The Company That Built Obamacare Is Doing Better Than Ever|Daniel Gross|October 18, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Close at hand the edifice gained in austerity and dignity while it lost the last of its scanty air of hospitality.Doom Castle|Neil Munro
The interior is one of great interest; the nave, even in its early forms, is none the less attractive because of its austerity.The Cathedrals of Northern France|Francis Miltoun
His laughter shocked the austerity of that same jack-pudding.Captain Blood|Rafael Sabatini
Our austerity revolts and our frivolity is amused at the circumstance; but Catholics of the south are not at all surprised at it.The Wonders of Pompeii|Marc Monnier
In the troubles of an unhappy marriage and the approach of a childless age, his serious temper deepened into austerity.Sebastian Bach|Reginald Lane Poole
British Dictionary definitions for austerity
noun plural -ties
- reduced availability of luxuries and consumer goods, esp when brought about by government policy
- (as modifier)an austerity budget