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severe in manner or appearance; uncompromising; strict; forbidding:
an austere teacher.
rigorously self-disciplined and severely moral; ascetic; abstinent:
the austere quality of life in the convent.
grave; sober; solemn; serious:
an austere manner.
without excess, luxury, or ease; simple; limited; severe:
an austere life.
severely simple; without ornament:
austere writing.
lacking softness; hard:
an austere bed of straw.
rough to the taste; sour or harsh in flavor.
Historical Examples

They live in sacerdotal isolation, austerely aloof from the populace, like a colony of monks.
Alone Norman Douglas

“Is that the way you treat such a—an abominable——” began Miss Grey austerely.
Sport Royal Anthony Hope

“I do not share your commiseration for that young man,” said Mr. Faucitt austerely.
The Adventures of Sally P. G. Wodehouse

“Thanks,” said Bob austerely, as Mike returned the ball to him.
Mike P. G. Wodehouse

The Chaplain-General received us, if not coldly, at least austerely.
The Great War As I Saw It Frederick George Scott

“And you must leave this place at once,” said Mr Tempest, austerely.
The Pagan’s Cup Fergus Hume

If we resort to the earlier authorities, not excepting Grotius himself, we find these rights stated most austerely.
Charles Sumner; his complete works, volume 9 (of 20) Charles Sumner

Health, it is austerely added, is more important than fashion!
Critical Studies Ouida

They went into the dim, white room where swathed presences stood as if austerely welcoming them.
Tante Anne Douglas Sedgwick

Portal did not answer at once, and Carson turned on him austerely and keenly.
Poppy Cynthia Stockley

stern or severe in attitude or manner: an austere schoolmaster
grave, sober, or serious: an austere expression
self-disciplined, abstemious, or ascetic: an austere life
severely simple or plain: an austere design

early 14c., from Old French austere (Modern French austère) and directly from Latin austerus “dry, harsh, sour, tart,” from Greek austeros “bitter, harsh,” especially “making the tongue dry” (originally used of fruits, wines), metaphorically “austere, harsh,” from PIE *saus- “dry” (cf. Greek auos “dry,” auein “to dry”). Use in English is figurative: “stern, severe, very simple.” Related: Austerely.


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