Stern, a. [Compar. Sterner superl. Sternest.] Having a certain hardness or severity of nature, manner, or aspect; hard; severe; rigid; rigorous; austere; fixed; unchanging; unrelenting; hence, serious; resolute; harsh; as, a sternresolve; a stern necessity; a stern heart; a stern gaze; a stern decree.
The sterne wind so loud gan to rout. --Chaucer.
I would outstare the sternest eyes that look. --Shak.
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept;
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff. --Shak.
Stern as tutors, and as uncles hard. --Dryden.
These barren rocks, your stern inheritance. --Wordsworth.
Syn: -- Gloomy; sullen; forbidding; strict; unkind; hard-hearted; unfeeling; cruel; pitiless.
Stern n. Zool. The black tern.
1. The helm or tiller of a vessel or boat; also, the rudder. [Obs.]
2. Naut. The after or rear end of a ship or other vessel, or of a boat; the part opposite to the stem, or prow.
3. Fig.: The post of management or direction.
And sit chiefest stern of public weal. --Shak.
4. The hinder part of anything.
5. The tail of an animal; -- now used only of the tail of a dog.
By the stern. Naut. See By the head, under By.
Stern, a. Being in the stern, or being astern; as, the stern davits.
Stern board Naut., a going or falling astern; a loss of way in making a tack; as, to make a stern board. See Board, n., 8 (b).
Stern chase. Naut. (a) See under Chase, n. (b) A stern chaser.
Stern chaser Naut., a cannon placed in a ship's stern, pointing backward, and intended to annoy a ship that is in pursuit.
Stern fast Naut., a rope used to confine the stern of a ship or other vessel, as to a wharf or buoy.
Stern frame Naut., the framework of timber forms the stern of a ship.
Stern knee. See Sternson.
Stern port Naut., a port, or opening, in the stern of a ship.
Stern sheets Naut., that part of an open boat which is between the stern and the aftmost seat of the rowers, -- usually furnished with seats for passengers.
Stern wheel, a paddle wheel attached to the stern of the steamboat which it propels.
adj 1: of a stern or strict bearing or demeanor; forbidding in
aspect; "an austere expression"; "a stern face" [syn:
2: not to be placated or appeased or moved by entreaty; "grim
determination"; "grim necessity"; "Russia's final hour, it
seemed, approached with inexorable certainty"; "relentless
persecution"; "the stern demands of parenthood" [syn: grim,
inexorable, relentless, unappeasable, unforgiving,
3: severe and unremitting in making demands; "an exacting
instructor"; "a stern disciplinarian"; "strict standards"
[syn: strict, exacting]
n 1: the rear part of a ship [syn: after part, quarter, poop,
2: United States concert violinist (born in Russia in 1920)
[syn: Isaac Stern]
3: the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on; "he
deserves a good kick in the butt"; "are you going to sit
on your fanny and do nothing?" [syn: buttocks, nates,
arse, butt, backside, bum, buns, can, fundament,
hindquarters, hind end, keister, posterior, prat,
rear, rear end, rump, seat, tail, tail end, tooshie,
tush, bottom, behind, derriere, fanny, ass]