August 24, 2013
austere (adjective)
\aw-STEER\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : stern and unfriendly in appearance or manner2 : living a harsh life with few pleasures : harshly simple3 : free from complications : unadorned
How do you use it?
As soon as she moved into her new bedroom, Anna began to change its austere decor by painting the white walls a bright shade of yellow.
Are you a word wiz?

Which one of these words do you think is a synonym of "austere"?

Simply put, the answer is A. "Austere" and "severe" both mean marked by strict discipline and firm restraint. While "austere" stresses absence of warmth, color, or feeling (as in "living an austere life in the country"), "severe" implies standards that are enforced without flexibility and sometimes with harshness (such as "severe military discipline"). Another synonym, "ascetic," suggests staying away from pleasure and comfort as a means of spiritual discipline (as in "the ascetic life of the monks"), and "stern" describes inflexibility of temper or character (such as in "stern judges of public behavior").
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