stern Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “stern” in the English Dictionary

"stern" in British English

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sternadjective

uk   /stɜːn/  us   /stɝːn/
C2 severe, or ​showingdisapproval: a stern ​look/​warning/​voice She is her own sternest ​critic. Journalists ​received a stern ​warning not to go ​anywhere near the ​battleship. If something, such as a ​job, is stern, it is ​difficult: The country's ​president is ​facing the sternest ​test of his ​authority since he came to ​power five ​years ago.
sternness
noun [U] uk   /ˈstɜːn.nəs/  us   /ˈstɝːn-/

sternnoun [C]

uk   /stɜːn/  us   /stɝːn/
the back ​part of a ​ship or ​boat
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(Definition of stern from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"stern" in American English

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sternadjective [-er/-est only]

 us   /ˈstɜrn/
severe: Sterner ​punishment may ​producebetterbehavior, but I ​doubt it.
sternly
adverb  us   /ˈstɜrn·li/
He sternly ​reminded his ​son to ​drivecarefully.

sternnoun [C]

 us   /ˈstɜrn/
  • stern noun [C] (SHIP PART)

the back end of a ​ship: A ​rope over the stern ​towed the little ​boat.
(Definition of stern from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“stern” in British English

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