Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia.
Related to sternly: haphazardly, lamentably, smoothly

stern 1

adj. stern·er, stern·est
1. Hard, harsh, or severe in manner or character: a stern disciplinarian. See Synonyms at severe.
2. Showing or expressing displeasure or disapproval; forbidding or harsh: a stern face; a stern voice.
3. Firm or unyielding; uncompromising: stern resistance.
4. Difficult to endure; oppressive: stern necessity.

[Middle English sterne, from Old English styrne; see ster- in Indo-European roots.]

stern′ly adv.
stern′ness n.

stern 2

1. Nautical The rear part of a ship or boat.
2. A rear part or section.

[Middle English sterne, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse stjōrn, rudder; see stā- in Indo-European roots.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.sternly - with sternness; in a severe manner; "`No,' she said sternly"; "peered severely over her glasses"
بِصَرامَه، عابِسا
harkalega, vægîarlaust


[ˈstɜːnlɪ] ADV [look] → severamente; [reprimand] → severamente, con dureza; [warn] → con seriedad


[ˈstɜːrnli] adv [say, look] → sévèrement


(= severely) say, rebukeernsthaft; lookstreng; warnernst; a sternly worded statementeine streng formulierte Aussage; to deal sternly with somebody/somethingstreng mit jdm/etw umgehen
(= firmly) forbidstreng; oppose, resisteisern


[ˈstɜːnlɪ] adv (warn, glare) → severamente


(stəːn) adjective
harsh, severe or strict. The teacher looked rather stern; stern discipline.
ˈsternly adverb
ˈsternness noun
References in classic literature ?
Jo couldn't even lose her heart in a decorous manner, but sternly tried to quench her feelings, and failing to do so, led a somewhat agitated life.
asked Tom, pointing to the bundle and gazing sternly at Tal.
When she coaxed and insisted, I repulsed her quite sternly.
returned the Indian, sternly, in the same language.
He appeared to gaze at the curious crowd, in front of which stood the lieutenant-governor; and there was a frown on his dark and massive countenance, as if sternly resentful of the boldness that had impelled them into his private retirement.
said another voice, coldly and sternly, proceeding from the crowd about the scaffold, "Speak; and give your child a father
Young man, said Bildad sternly, thou art skylarking with me --explain thyself, thou young Hittite.
And do you think," said master sternly, "that treatment like this will make him fond of your will?
But mother did; and so, when I had quarreled with Alfred, and father looked sternly on me, I used to go off to mother's room, and sit by her.
A soft hope blest with my sorrow that soon I should dare to drop a kiss on that brow of rock, and on those lips so sternly sealed beneath it: but not yet.
He many a time spoke sternly to me about my pertness; and averred that the stab of a knife could not inflict a worse pang than he suffered at seeing his lady vexed.
Concluding her address of expostulation in those terms, Miss Garth led Norah to the library door, pushed Magdalen into the morning-room, and went on her own way sternly to the regions of the medicine-chest.