One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘Nick's expression was stern’
serious, unsmiling, frowning, poker-faced, severe, forbidding, grim, unfriendly, sombre, grave, sober, austere, dour, stony, flinty, steely, unrelenting, unyielding, unforgiving, unbending, unsympathetic, disapproving
British informal boot-faced
2‘the stern measures taken by the government added to its unpopularity’
strict, severe, stringent, harsh, drastic, hard, tough, fierce, extreme, rigorous, rigid, exacting, demanding, uncompromising, unsparing, inflexible, authoritarian, draconian
North American informal badass
NZ Australian informal solid
1‘the stern of the ship’
rear end, rear, back, tail, poop
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