Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

  • Word of the Day
    labyrinthine

    lae b@ rIn thihn  [or]  lae b@ rIn thin

    adjective
    1.  of, resembling, or forming a labyrinth.
    We followed our guide through the labyrinthine catacombs.

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  • Vocabulary of the Day
    landlocked

    laend lakt

    adjective
    lacking access to the sea.
    Paraguay and Bolivia are the only landlocked countries in South America; all the other countries border the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans, or both in the case of Colombia.

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Jun
18
2013

austere

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

austere

aw stir

adjective

1. having a stern or solemn appearance or personality.
example: The austere clergyman was somewhat frightening to the children.

2. having nothing more than what is strictly necessary; very simple or plain.
example: The doctor put her on an austere diet.
example: Her room in the hospital was austere, and this made her appreciate the flowers even more.

3. strict or ascetic in manner of living.
example: He was suited to the austere life of a monk.

wikipedia: American Gothic, Grant Wood 1930

wikipedia: American Gothic, Grant Wood 1930

Word History The word “austere” originated in the Greek word “austeros,” passed into Latin as “austerus,” then into Old French and, probably in the early 1300s, entered the English language. The original Greek word meant, literally, “making the tongue dry,” from which the word developed the sense “harsh” or “severe.”