Explanation of stern by Wordnet Dictionary
- a stern disciplinarian
- a stern face
- Stern n. [AS. stearn a kind of bird. See Starling.] ( Zool. ) The black tern.
- Stern, a. [Compar. Sterner ; superl. Sternest.] [OE. sterne, sturne, AS. styrne; cf. D. stuurish stern, Sw. stursk refractory. √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. 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. [Icel. stjōrn a steering, or a doubtful AS. steórn. √166. See Steer, v. t.]
1. The helm or tiller of a vessel or boat; also, the rudder. [Obs.] Chaucer.
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. Spenser.
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 -- Stern chase. ( Naut. ) See under Chase, n. 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.
Definition of stern by GCIDE Dictionary