- 1serious and often disapproving; expecting someone to obey you synonym strict a stern face/expression/look a stern warning Her voice was stern. The police are planning sterner measures to combat crime.
- 2serious and difficult a stern test of nerves We face stern opposition.
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sternness nounjump to other results
to have a stronger character and to be more determined in dealing with problems than other people Many would have given up, but Tim was made of sterner stuff.
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