Find the word definition

Crossword clues for stern

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a grim/stern expression (=one that shows you are very strict or angry)
▪ Aunty Kitty looked at us with a stern expression and ordered us indoors.
a stern warning
▪ I got a stern warning against giving false information to the police.
were made of sterner stuff (=were more determined)
▪ Surely you’re not going to give up? I thought you were made of sterner stuff.
▪ The Soviet boy stands straight, and salutes us with a stern expression on his face.
▪ This time, however, the opposition was made of sterner stuff.
▪ But it seems to us that hypocrisy should be made of sterner stuff.
▪ Ann, made of sterner stuff than the rest of her tribe, leapt from the car, determined to fish.
▪ Miller seemed about to choke on his drink, but Floyd was made of sterner stuff.
▪ But Bastide was made of sterner stuff.
▪ She examined little boys as if they were made of much sterner stuff than mere flesh and bone.
▪ In the years separating the two Great Wars women were made of sterner stuff.
▪ Salisbury returned at the pavilion end: a stern test of nerve, even with immortality beckoning should success by his.
▪ Now this knowledge will be put to a stern test.
▪ The sternest test the plane has yet faced.
▪ What began as a stern test ended as a laugher.
▪ At 6,352 yards, par 71, it already offers a stern test of technique without being physically onerous.
▪ Ufford Park offers a stern test without being too physically demanding.
▪ In September 1297 Wallace and Moray faced their sternest test.
▪ Rob's trout rod had stood the sternest test.
▪ From within the universities there were stern voices of anti-vocationalism and resistance to public demands for responsiveness, strengthening the impression.
▪ A stern voice spoke of the significance of this moment, the victorious Allied forces coming together in Berlin.
▪ He spoke in a stern voice, nodding to-wards the stairs.
▪ He gave a stern warning against the dangers of the arms race.
▪ But he reminded reporters of the stern warnings issued Sunday by Gen.
▪ The court gave a stern warning against future attempts to scoop it.
be a hard/stern/tough taskmaster
▪ If self-employment is any guide, the dejobbed worker is likely to be a stern taskmaster.
▪ She was a hard taskmaster but a considerably fairer one than la Belle Ethel.
▪ True to his word, he schooled her in horsemanship and was a hard taskmaster.
under the (watchful/stern etc) eye of sb
▪ He flashed his security pass under the eyes of the two armed guards posted beside the exit door.
▪ The hoopla also continued well into the night outside the casinos under the eyes of Las Vegas police and security guards.
▪ They act out roles and techniques under the watchful eye of their instructors.
▪ Thwarted, he then embraced her stiffly before taking the baby in his arms under the watchful eye of his wife.
▪ Today, the Reichardt duck farm is run under the watchful eye of Jim Reichardt, great grandson of the original founder.
▪ Voice over Back at the Young Telegraph, their final copy is put together under the watchful eye of a full-time reporter.
▪ a stern judge
▪ Her grandfather was a stern man who rarely smiled.
▪ Sheila walked into the museum, under the stern gaze of the curator.
▪ A stern judgment indeed, but an accurate one none the less.
▪ And she had also forgotten the stern lecture she had given herself earlier, she thought despairingly.
▪ But he reminded reporters of the stern warnings issued Sunday by Gen.
▪ But Thursday morning beaming managers were replaced by stern security guards who refused to even let workers into the building.
▪ Sundram insisted the act was a reasonable response to the stern anti-drug law approved under then Gov.
▪ The uniforms were different but the faces were the same: narrow and stern with a hint of cruelty in the eyes.
▪ This time, however, the opposition was made of sterner stuff.
▪ Marina was sat in the stern, the wind moving her hair as she looked out over the water.
▪ The boy had backed out of the stern.
▪ The waves which lapped over the stern of the raft were our waste-disposal system.
▪ There was a mass of shipping in the port, small skiffs, boats, the huge heavy-bottomed sterns of Hanseatic merchantmen.
▪ Water Gypsy shuddered from bow to stern.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Stern \Stern\, n. [Icel. stj[=o]rn a steering, or a doubtful AS. ste['o]rn. [root]166. See Steer, v. t.]

  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.

  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 \Stern\, n. [AS. stearn a kind of bird. See Starling.] (Zo["o]l.) The black tern.


Stern \Stern\, a. [Compar. Sterner; superl. Sternest.] [OE. sterne, sturne, AS. styrne; cf. D. stuurish stern, Sw. stursk refractory. [root]166.] 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.

I would outstare the sternest eyes that look.

When that the poor have cried, C[ae]sar hath wept; Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.

Stern as tutors, and as uncles hard.

These barren rocks, your stern inheritance.

Syn: Gloomy; sullen; forbidding; strict; unkind; hard-hearted; unfeeling; cruel; pitiless.


Stern \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.)

  1. See under Chase, n.

  2. 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.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English styrne "severe, strict, grave, hard, cruel," from Proto-Germanic *sternijaz (cognates: Middle High German sterre, German starr "stiff," störrig "obstinate;" Gothic andstaurran "to be stiff;" Old Norse stara; Old English starian "to look or gaze upon"), from PIE root *ster- (1) "rigid, stiff" (see stereo-). Related: Sternly; sternness.


early 13c., "hind part of a ship; steering gear of a ship," probably from a Scandinavian source, such as Old Norse stjorn "a steering," related to or derived from styra "to guide" (see steer (v.)). Or the word may come from Old Frisian stiarne "rudder," which also is related to steer (v.). Stern-wheeler as a type of steam-boat is from 1855, American English.


Etymology 1 a. Having a hardness and severity of nature or manner. Etymology 2

n. (context nautical English) The rear part or after end of a ship or vessel. Etymology 3

n. A bird, the black tern.

  1. adj. of a stern or strict bearing or demeanor; forbidding in aspect; "an austere expression"; "a stern face" [syn: austere]

  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, unrelenting]

  3. severe and unremitting in making demands; "an exacting instructor"; "a stern disciplinarian"; "strict standards" [syn: strict, exacting]

  1. n. the rear part of a ship [syn: after part, quarter, poop, tail]

  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]

Stern (game company)

Stern is the name of two different but related arcade gaming companies: Stern Electronics, Inc. and Stern Pinball, Inc.

Stern (magazine)

Stern (, German for "Star") is a weekly news magazine published in Hamburg, Germany, by Gruner + Jahr, a subsidiary of Bertelsmann.

Stern (surname)

Stern is a surname which can be of either German/ Yiddish or English language origin, though the former case predominates.

The English version of the surname was used as a nickname for someone who was strict, austere, harsh or stern in character. The German/Yiddish word Stern means " star".

Stern (disambiguation)

The stern is the rear or aft part of a ship or boat.

Stern or Sterns may also refer to:


  • Stern (surname), a family name
  • Stern Hu (born 1963), businessman arrested in China
  • Stern John (born 1976), Trinidadian footballer

In education:

  • New York University Stern School of Business
  • Stern Conservatory, a former private music school in Berlin, now part of the Berlin University of the Arts
  • Stern College for Women, an undergraduate women's college of Yeshiva University, located in Manhattan, New York


  • Stern (magazine), a weekly German news magazine
  • Stern (game company), two related arcade gaming companies
  • Stern's, an American department store chain that served New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey
  • Stern's Pickle Works, Farmindale, New York

Other uses:

  • Stern Review, an influential report on global warming's economic effect
  • Stern baronets, two extinct titles in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom
  • USS Stern (DE-187), a World War II destroyer escort
  • Stern Hall (disambiguation)
  • Stern House, a reconstructed building in Jerusalem
  • The Sterns, an American Britpop band

The stern is the back or aft-most part of a ship or boat, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter rail to the taffrail. The stern lies opposite of the bow, the foremost part of a ship. Originally, the term only referred to the aft port section of the ship, but eventually came to refer to the entire back of a vessel. The stern end of a ship is indicated with a white navigation light at night.

Sterns on European and American wooden sailing ships began with two principal forms: the square or transom stern and the elliptical, fantail, or merchant stern, and were developed in that order. The hull sections of a sailing ship located before the stern were composed of a series of U-shaped rib-like frames set in a sloped or "cant" arrangement, with the last frame before the stern being called the fashion timber(s) or fashion piece(s), so called for "fashioning" the after part of the ship. This frame is designed to support the various beams that make up the stern.

In 1817 the British naval architect Sir Robert Seppings first introduced the concept of the round or circular stern. The square stern had been an easy target for enemy cannon, and could not support the weight of heavy stern chase guns. But Seppings' design left the rudder head exposed, and was regarded by many as simply ugly—no American warships were designed with such sterns, and the round stern was quickly superseded by the elliptical stern. The United States began building the first elliptical stern warship in 1820, a decade before the British. The USS Brandywine became the first sailing ship to sport such a stern. Though a great improvement over the transom stern in terms of its vulnerability to attack when under fire, elliptical sterns still had obvious weaknesses which the next major stern development—the iron-hulled cruiser stern—addressed far better and with much different materials.

Usage examples of "stern".

The lieutenant retained his place in the stern sheets, which he had not left during the affray or the conference.

Tewdrig was on the point of sending the audacious lad away with a stern rebuke for his affrontery, but I interceded.

I shall at all events be more lenient in my judgement of him, and less stern in my allocutions, for I shall have no text to preach from.

Most unusual was the sixteen-foot dish-shaped moon-bounce antenna that rested high on the stern.

Their antics would have made Antonia blush if she were not made of sterner stuff.

He had swiveled to his extreme left to watch the antics of a superbly sailed Rhodian galley some distance off his stern when his own huge ship lurched, groaned, shuddered convulsively, and the sounds of many oars snapping off like twigs became intermingled with cries of dismay and alarm.

Jews, whose stern fanaticism would be always prepared to second, and even to anticipate, the hostile measures of the Pagan government.

Boy ascribed a low coefficient of irritant potential to Miss Stern, regarding her as a typical young American intellectual woman seeking a cause to justify her existence, until marriage, career, or artsy hobbies defused her.

Executives at Stern Corporation, also interviewed, professed ignorance of any illegal or improper dealings and maintained that antisense research had been a field of particular interest at the company for a number of years.

Allen Soufi, a private banking client, whose every visit occasioned a stern afterword.

The royal standard of house Barca stood at her masthead, and there were lamps burning at stem and stern.

He was familiar with the Jolly Bargeman, where he was both feared and respected as a stern but upright officer of the law.

The foremost of the two was Sir Giles Mompesson, and his usually stern and sinister features had acquired a yet more inauspicious cast, from the deathlike paleness that bespread them, as well as from the fillet bound round his injured brow.

And now, at last, as she stood in the stern of the ship, in a pitch-dark, rather blowy night, feeling the motion of the sea, and watching the small, rather desolate little lights that twinkled on the shores of England, as on the shores of nowhere, watched them sinking smaller and smaller on the profound and living darkness, she felt her soul stirring to awake from its anaesthetic sleep.

Headmaster of Macdonald Hall maintained his stern expression as Bruno and Boots left the office.