- (General American) enPR: stûrn, IPA(key): /stɝn/
- (Received Pronunciation) enPR: stûn, IPA(key): /stɜːn/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)n
From Middle English stern, sterne, sturne, from Old English styrne (“stern, grave, strict, austere, hard, severe, cruel”), from Proto-Germanic *sturnijaz (“angry, astonished, shocked”), from Proto-Indo-European *ster- (“rigid, stiff”). Cognate with Scots stern (“bold, courageous, fierce, resolute”), Old High German stornēn (“to be astonished”), Dutch stuurs (“glum, austere”), Swedish stursk (“insolent”).
- Having a hardness and severity of nature or manner.
- 1593, [William Shakespeare], Venvs and Adonis, London: Imprinted by Richard Field, […], OCLC 837166078, [verse 17]; 2nd edition, London: Imprinted by Richard Field, […], 1594, OCLC 701755207, lines [97–100]:
- 1693, Decimus Junius Juvenalis; John Dryden, transl., “[The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis.] The First Satyr”, in The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis. Translated into English Verse. […] Together with the Satires of Aulus Persius Flaccus. […], London: Printed for Jacob Tonson […], OCLC 80026745:
- stern as tutors, and as uncles hard
- Grim and forbidding in appearance.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Most likely from Old Norse stjórn (“control, steering”), related to stýra (“to steer”), from Proto-Germanic *stiurijaną, whence also English steer. Also possibly from Old Frisian stiarne (“rudder”), from the same Germanic root.
stern (plural sterns)
- (nautical) The rear part or after end of a ship or vessel.
- (figurative) The post of management or direction.
- 1591, William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Sixt”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i]:
- and sit chiefest stern of public weal
- The hinder part of anything.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
- The tail of an animal; now used only of the tail of a dog.
- (of a ship): poop
From a variant of tern.
stern (plural sterns)
- A bird, the black tern.
stern (plural sternes)
- Alternative form of
- “sterne (n.1)” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 10 August 2018.
- Anthony R. Rowley, Liacht as de sproch: Grammatica della lingua mòchena Deutsch-Fersentalerisch, TEMI, 2003.