Choose the right word
severe, ascetic, austere, stern, strict, unmitigated
A storm, a hairdo, and a punishment may all be described as severe, which means harsh or uncompromising, without a hint of softness, mildness, levity, or indulgence. Austere, on the other hand, primarily applies to people, their habits, their way of life, and the environments they create; it implies coldness, stark simplicity, and restraint ( an austere room with only a table and chair). Ascetic implies extreme self-denial and self-discipline, in some cases to the point of choosing what is painful or disagreeable ( he had an ascetic approach to life and rejected all creature comforts). Strict literally means bound or stretched tight; in extended use, it means strenuously exact ( a strict curfew; strict obedience). Stern combines harshness and authority with strictness or severity ( a stern judge). Unmitigated means unmodified and unsoftened in any way ( a streak of unmitigated bad luck).