austere

The adjective austere is used to describe something or someone stern or without any decoration. You wouldn't want someone to describe you or your home as austere.

Austere is not usually a positive word because it means that a person or a thing isn't pleasurable. For example, if you go on an austere diet, it's likely you wouldn't ever get to have candy. The adjective comes into English by way of French, Latin, and Greek, meaning "harsh" and "dry." It's pronounced as "ah-STEER," with an emphasis on the second syllable.

Definitions of austere
  1. adjective
    of a stern or strict bearing or demeanor; forbidding in aspect
    “an austere expression”
    synonyms: stern
    nonindulgent, strict
    characterized by strictness, severity, or restraint
  2. adjective
    practicing great self-denial
    “a desert nomad's austere life”
    synonyms: ascetic, ascetical, spartan
    abstemious
    sparing in consumption of especially food and drink
  3. adjective
    severely simple
    synonyms: severe, stark, stern
    plain
    not elaborate or elaborated; simple
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