STERN, adjective [G., staring; stubborn. See Stare, Starck, Stark, with which this word is probably connected.]
1. Severe; austere; fixed with an aspect of severity and authority; as a stern look; a stern countenance; a stern frown.
I would outstare the sternest eyes that look.
2. Severe of manner; rigid; harsh; cruel.
STERN as tutors, and as uncles hard.
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.
3. Hard; afflictive.
If wolves had at thy gate howld that stern time.
4. Rigidly stedfast; immovable.
STERN virtue is the growth of few soils.
1. The hind part of a ship or other vessel, or of a boat; the part opposite to the stern or prow. This part of a ship is terminated by the tafferel above, and by the counters below.
2. Post of management; direction.
An sit at chiefest stern of public weal. [Not in use. We now say, to sit at the helm.]
3. The hinder part of any thing. [Not elegant.]
By the stern is a phrase which denotes that a ship is more deeply laden abaft than forward.