From Old French austere, from Latin austērus (“dry, harsh, sour, tart”), from Ancient Greek αὐστηρός (austēros, “bitter, harsh”), having the specific meaning "making the tongue dry" (originally used of fruits, wines), related to αὔω (auō, “to singe”), αὖος (auos, “dry”).
- (RP): IPA: /ɒstɪə(ɹ)/ or IPA: /ɔːstɪə(ɹ)/
- (US): IPA: /ɔˈstiəɹ/
- (cot–caught merger, northern cities vowel shift): IPA: /ɑˈstiəɹ/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɪə(r)
- Grim or severe in manner or appearance
- The headmistress was an austere old woman.
- Lacking trivial decoration; not extravagant or gaudy
- The interior of the church was as austere as the parishioners were dour.
- (grim or severe): stern, strict, forbidding
- (lacking trivial decoration): simple, plain, unadorned, unembellished