Open main menu



From Ancient Greek αὐστηρότης (austērótēs, bitter, harsh). See austere.



austerity (countable and uncountable, plural austerities)

  1. Severity of manners or life; extreme rigor or strictness; harsh discipline.
  2. Freedom from adornment; plainness; severe simplicity.
  3. (economics) A policy of deficit-cutting, which by definition requires lower spending, higher taxes, or both.
    • 2012 April 23, Angelique Chrisafis, “François Hollande on top but far right scores record result in French election”, in the Guardian[1]:
      He said France clearly wanted to "close one page and open another". He reiterated his opposition to austerity alone as the only way out of Europe's crisis: "My final duty, and I know I'm being watched from beyond our borders, is to put Europe back on the path of growth and employment."
  4. (obsolete) Sourness and harshness to the taste.


  • (severity of manners or life): comfort

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.