noun, plural austerities.
austere quality; severity of manner, life, etc.; sternness.
Usually, austerities. ascetic practices: austerities of monastery life.
strict economy.

1300–50; Middle English austerite < Anglo-French, Old French austerite < Latin austēritās. See austere, -ity

1. harshness, strictness, asceticism, rigor. 2. See hardship.

1. leniency. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
austerity (ɒˈstɛrɪtɪ)
n , pl -ties
1.  the state or quality of being austere
2.  (often plural) an austere habit, practice, or act
3.  a.  reduced availability of luxuries and consumer goods, esp when brought about by government policy
 b.  (as modifier): an austerity budget

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-14c., "sternness, harshness," from O.Fr. austerite (14c.), from L.L. austeritatem (nom. austeritas), from austerus (see austere). Of severe self-discipline, from 1580s; hence "severe simplicity" (1875); applied during WWII to national policies limiting non-essentials as a wartime economy.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
There is no evidence of austerity, no look of miserliness.
The paleness of his countenance bespoke the austerity of his life.
The new regime imposed iron austerity and crushing taxes.
But it doesn't sound like there is any intention of having this be a short-term
  austerity measure.
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