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austerity

[aw-ster-i-tee] /ɔˈstɛr ɪ ti/
noun, plural austerities.
1.
austere quality; severity of manner, life, etc.; sternness.
2.
Usually, austerities. ascetic practices:
austerities of monastery life.
3.
strict economy.
Origin of austerity
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English austerite < Anglo-French, Old French austerite < Latin austēritās. See austere, -ity
Synonyms
1. harshness, strictness, asceticism, rigor. 2. See hardship.
Antonyms
1. leniency.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for austerity

austerity

/ɒˈstɛrɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
the state or quality of being austere
2.
(often pl) an austere habit, practice, or act
3.
  1. reduced availability of luxuries and consumer goods, esp when brought about by government policy
  2. (as modifier): an austerity budget
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for austerity
n.

mid-14c., "sternness, harshness," from Old French austerite "harshness, cruelty" (14c.) and directly from Late Latin austeritatem (nominative austeritas), from austerus (see austere). Of severe self-discipline, from 1580s; hence "severe simplicity" (1875); applied during World War II to national policies limiting non-essentials as a wartime economy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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