1 Nick's expression was stern
serious, unsmiling, frowning, poker-faced, severe, forbidding, grim, unfriendly, sombre, grave, sober, austere, dour, stony, flinty, steely, unrelenting, unyielding, unforgiving, unbending, unsympathetic, disapproving
British informal boot-faced
[Antonyms] genial, friendly
2 the stern measures taken by the government added to its unpopularity
strict, severe, stringent, harsh, drastic, hard, tough, fierce, extreme, rigorous, rigid, exacting, demanding, uncompromising, unsparing, inflexible, authoritarian, draconian
North American informal badass
Australian/New Zealand informal solid
[Antonyms] lenient, lax
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