i. stern

World English Dictionary
stern1 (stɜːn)
1.  showing uncompromising or inflexible resolve; firm, strict, or authoritarian
2.  lacking leniency or clemency; harsh or severe
3.  relentless; unyielding: the stern demands of parenthood
4.  having an austere or forbidding appearance or nature
[Old English styrne; related to Old High German stornēn to alarm, Latin sternāx stubborn, Greek stereos hard]

stern2 (stɜːn)
1.  the rear or after part of a vessel, opposite the bow or stem
2.  the rear part of any object
3.  the tail of certain breeds of dog, such as the foxhound or beagle
4.  relating to or located at the stern
[C13: from Old Norse stjōrn steering; see steer1]

Stern (stɜːn)
Isaac. 1920--2001, US concert violinist, born in (what is now) Ukraine

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

O.E. styrne "severe, strict," from P.Gmc. *sternijaz (cf. M.H.G. sterre, Ger. starr "stiff," störrig "obstinate;" Goth. andstaurran "to be stiff;" O.N. stara; O.E. starian "to look or gaze upon"), from PIE base *ster-, *star- "be rigid" (see sterile).

c.1300, "hind part of a ship, steering gear of a ship," probably from O.N. stjorn "a steering," related to styra "to guide" (see steer (v.)). Or the word may come from O.Fris. stiarne "rudder," which is also related to steer (v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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