Definition of austere in English:

austere

Line breaks: aus|tere
Pronunciation: /ɒˈstɪə
 
, ɔːˈstɪə
 
/

adjective (austerer, austerest)

1Severe or strict in manner or attitude: he was an austere man, with a rigidly puritanical outlook
More example sentences
  • He was faulted for refusing to delegate and for favouring incompetent friends, while his austere and overbearing manner led to clashes with state governors and military commanders.
  • But I must warn you, once we get past the hallway and into the room, the occupants are rather strict and austere.
  • Peter expected high standards, but his sometimes austere manner veiled a deep concern for people and an insight into the human condition.
Synonyms
severe, stern, strict, harsh, unfeeling, stony, steely, flinty, dour, grim, cold, frosty, frigid, icy, chilly, unemotional, unfriendly, formal, stiff, stuffy, reserved, remote, distant, aloof, forbidding, grave, solemn, serious, unsmiling, unsympathetic, unforgiving, uncharitable;
hard, rigorous, stringent, unyielding, unbending, unrelenting, inflexible, illiberal, no-nonsense
informal hard-boiled, hard-nosed
Australian/New Zealand informal solid
1.1(Of living conditions or a way of life) having no comforts or luxuries: conditions in the prison could hardly be more austere
More example sentences
  • I have lived and worked in austere conditions, lifted and carried heavy equipment and never hesitated to assist in the effort to help the enemy die for their country.
  • The squadron face austere conditions in the desert, living under canvas.
  • Creatures that occupy the Sonoran Desert have evolved over time to survive under notoriously austere conditions.
Synonyms
strict, self-denying, self-abnegating, moderate, temperate, sober, simple, frugal, spartan, restrained, self-restrained, self-disciplined, non-indulgent, ascetic, puritanical, self-sacrificing, hair-shirt, abstemious, abstinent, celibate, chaste, continent;
moral, upright
1.2Having a plain and unadorned appearance: the cathedral is impressive in its austere simplicity
More example sentences
  • The interior is breathtakingly austere in appearance; simple but effective use of lighting creates the appropriate atmosphere.
  • At the moment I am considering making my website very austere and plain… you know, seeing that the prints themselves have enough to say without having to compete with the graphics, or something.
  • All of this is presented in a style that is both austere and beautiful - plain as can be, yet suffused with an appreciation for artifice as a way of survival.
Synonyms
plain, simple, basic, functional, modest, unadorned, undecorated, unornamented, unembellished, unostentatious, unfurnished, uncluttered, unfussy, without frills, subdued, muted, restrained;
stark, bleak, bare, bald, clinical, sombre, severe, spartan, ascetic
informal no frills

Origin

Middle English: via Old French from Latin austerus, from Greek austēros 'severe'.

Derivatives

austerely

adverb
More example sentences
  • His early works are romantic treatments of subjects from Ovid and Tasso; later he developed an austerely classical style.
  • It is austerely modernist, making little concession to either plot or character, more like a fictive sculpture than a story, an obsessively repeated series of patterns.
  • His status among the people was consolidated by his lifestyle - he lived austerely, and never married.

Definition of austere in: