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MORE ABOUT 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.
The term is sometimes used in its plural form to refer to ascetic practices, like living in a monastery—think 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 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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What are some other forms of austerity?
- austere (adjective)
What are some words that often get used in discussing austerity?
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
Greece heads towards historic no vote against austerity measures http://t.co/dLyO74IQiV #Greece
— 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?
How to use austerity in a sentence
Amid the economic crisis, with memories of austerity measures from past years still fresh, the nation voted to slash public spending on governance by chopping the size of its legislatures by a third.The New Meaning of Citizenship|Daniel Malloy|December 13, 2020|Ozy
This is a non-starter in the post-pandemic age of austerity.The Self-Driving Car Is a Red Herring - Issue 92: Frontiers|Anthony Townsend|October 21, 2020|Nautilus
Economic stability was promptly replaced by recession and austerity in financial capitals and small towns around the world.How digitalization could help American states and cities bounce back from the COVID recession|matthewheimer|October 7, 2020|Fortune
Though DeJoy put some austerity measures on hold — since backstopped by four court orders — and called the timely delivery of election mail his “sacred” duty, suspicions persist.In Detroit, chronic USPS delays undermine voters’ confidence in voting by mail|Lisa Rein, Kayla Ruble|October 5, 2020|Washington Post
Education leaders immediately compared it to the devastating austerity of the Great Recession.How Los Angeles and San Diego Unified Started Driving State Education Policy|Will Huntsberry|July 29, 2020|Voice of San Diego
Now cities are largely on their own, as austerity and gridlock grip Washington.Can America’s Favorite Ex-Con Mayor Win Again?|David Freedlander|June 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Our debates about federal budgets still revolve around degrees of imposed austerity.The Tea Party Is Dead? Nah, That’s Just a Flesh Wound|Michael Tomasky|May 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Last weekend, demonstrators took to the streets of Italy's capital to protest against government-imposed austerity measures.Portrait of a Roman Crackdown|The Daily Beast Video|April 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A big theme for the last several months has been the end of fiscal austerity.Finally: An Unusually Awesome Jobs Report|Daniel Gross|December 6, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Walmart is about to teach everybody a lesson in how austerity can affect the consumer economy—and quick.Food Stamp Cuts Add to Walmart’s Troubles|Daniel Gross|November 2, 2013|DAILY BEAST
It now became evident to him that both he and the Brethren had hitherto manifested insufficient austerity in life and doctrine.Skipper Worse|Alexander Lange Kielland
Austerity banishes familiarity from family life and engenders constraint.Friend Mac Donald|Max O'Rell
The extreme plainness of her dress lent an air of austerity to her face, and her features were proud and grave.An Episode Under the Terror|Honore de Balzac
This proposal is, in our judgment, a bold attempt to get back the "Principles of 1834" in all their austerity.English Poor Law Policy|Sidney Webb
She viewed life with a certain austerity, and in literature she had fortified herself against the shocks of time.A Hoosier Chronicle|Meredith Nicholson
British Dictionary definitions for austerity
- reduced availability of luxuries and consumer goods, esp when brought about by government policy
- (as modifier)an austerity budget