adj. aus·ter·er, aus·ter·est
1. Severe or stern in disposition or appearance; somber and grave: the austere figure of a Puritan minister.
2. Strict or severe in discipline; ascetic: a desert nomad's austere life. See Synonyms at severe.
3. Having no adornment or ornamentation; bare: an austere style.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin austērus, from Greek austēros.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.