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The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Stern \Stern\, a. [Compar. Sterner; superl. Sternest.] [OE. sterne, sturne, AS. styrne; cf. D. stuurish stern, Sw. stursk refractory. [root]166.] Having a certain hardness or severity of nature, manner, or aspect; hard; severe; rigid; rigorous; austere; fixed; unchanging; unrelenting; hence, serious; resolute; harsh; as, a sternresolve; a stern necessity; a stern heart; a stern gaze; a stern decree. [1913 Webster] The sterne wind so loud gan to rout. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] I would outstare the sternest eyes that look. --Shak. [1913 Webster] When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept; Ambition should be made of sterner stuff. --Shak. [1913 Webster] Stern as tutors, and as uncles hard. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] These barren rocks, your stern inheritance. --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster] Syn: Gloomy; sullen; forbidding; strict; unkind; hard-hearted; unfeeling; cruel; pitiless. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Sterner \Stern"er\, n. [See 3d Stern.] A director. [Obs. & R.] --Dr. R. Clerke. [1913 Webster]