- The definition of stern is someone who is very serious or strict.
An example of stern is a teacher when he is scolding a student.
- The stern is defined as the rear of anything.
An example of stern is the back of a boat.
- hard; severe; unyielding; strict: stern measures
- grim; forbidding: a stern face
- relentless; inexorable: stern reality
- unshakable; firm: stern determination
Origin of sternMiddle English sterne ; from Old English styrne ; from Indo-European base an unverified form ster-, stiff, rigid from source stare, starve
- the rear end of a ship or boat
- the rear end of anything
Origin of sternMiddle English steorne, stern, rudder ; from Old Norse stjorn, steering ; from styra, to steer
- Hard, harsh, or severe in manner or character: a stern disciplinarian. See Synonyms at severe.
- Showing or expressing displeasure or disapproval; forbidding or harsh: a stern face; a stern voice.
- Firm or unyielding; uncompromising: stern resistance.
- Difficult to endure; oppressive: stern necessity.
Origin of sternMiddle English sterne, from Old English styrne; see ster-1 in Indo-European roots.
- Nautical The rear part of a ship or boat.
- A rear part or section.
Origin of sternMiddle English sterne, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse stjōrn, rudder; see stā- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative sterner, superlative sternest)
From Middle English stern, sterne, sturne, from Old English styrne (“stern, grave, strict, austere, hard, severe, cruel"), from Proto-Germanic *sturnijaz (“angry, astonished, shocked"), from Proto-Indo-European *ster-, *ter- (“rigid, stiff"). Cognate with Scots stern (“bold, courageous, fierce, resolute"), Old High German stornÄ“n (“to be astonished"), Dutch stuurs (“glum, austere"), Swedish stursk (“insolent").
Most likely from Old Norse stjÃ³rn (“control, steering"), related to stÃ½ra (“to steer"), from Proto-Germanic *stiurijanÄ…, whence also English steer. Also possibly from Old Frisian stiarne (“rudder"), from the same Germanic root.
- A bird, the black tern.