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 stornēn (“to be astonished”), Dutch stuurs (“glum, austere”), Swedish stursk (“insolent”).
stern (comparative sterner, superlative sternest)
- Having a hardness and severity of nature or manner.
- John Dryden
- stern as tutors, and as uncles hard
2013 June 22, “Snakes and ladders”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 76:
- Risk is everywhere. From tabloid headlines insisting that coffee causes cancer (yesterday, of course, it cured it) to stern government warnings about alcohol and driving, the world is teeming with goblins.
- Grim and forbidding in appearance.
having a hardness and severity of nature or manner
- Arabic: صَارِم (ṣārim), مُتَشَدِّد (mutašaddid)
- Bulgarian: суров (bg) m (suróv), строг (bg) m (strog), твърд (bg) m (tvǎrd)
- Catalan: sever
- Dutch: streng (nl)
- Finnish: ankara (fi)
- Georgian: სასტიკი (sasṭiḳi)
- German: streng (de), hart (de), bitter (de), unnachgiebig (de)
- Greek: αυστηρός (el) (afstirós)
- Hungarian: szigorú (hu), rideg (hu)
- Italian: austero (it), severo (it), duro (it), rigido (it)
- Japanese: 厳格な (ja) (げんかくな, genkaku na)
- Latin: firmatus
- Maori: makiki
- Portuguese: severo (pt), austero (pt), rígido (pt)
- Romanian: dur (ro), sever (ro)
- Russian: стро́гий (ru) (strógij), суро́вый (ru) (suróvyj)
- Roman: jak (sh), snažan (sh), čvrst (sh), čeličan, grubost (sh), surovost (sh), strogost (sh)
- Slovak: neúprosný, tvrdý, prísny
- Spanish: severo (es)
- Swedish: sträng (sv), rigorös (sv), strikt (sv), barsk (sv), hård (sv)
- Turkish: sert (tr), haşin (tr), katı (tr)
grim and forbidding in appearance
- 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 Help:How to check translations.
Translations to be checked
Most likely from Old Norse stjórn (“control, steering”), related to stýra (“to steer”), from Proto-Germanic *stiurijaną, whence also English steer. Also possibly from Old Frisian stiarne (“rudder”), from the same Germanic root.
Wikipedia stern (plural sterns)
- (nautical) The rear part or after end of a ship or vessel.
1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 7, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
- Old Applegate, in the stern, just set and looked at me, and Lord James, amidship, waved both arms and kept hollering for help. I took a couple of everlasting big strokes and managed to grab hold of the skiff's rail, close to the stern.
- (figuratively) The post of management or direction.
- The hinder part of anything.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
- The tail of an animal; now used only of the tail of a dog.
the rear part or after end of a ship or vessel
figuratively: post of management or direction
stern (plural sterns)
- A bird, the black tern.