Pronunciation: (ô-stēr'),[key] —adj. 1. severe in manner or appearance; uncompromising; strict; forbidding: an austere teacher. 2. rigorously self-disciplined and severely moral; ascetic; abstinent: the austere quality of life in the convent. 3. grave; sober; solemn; serious: an austere manner. 4. without excess, luxury, or ease; simple; limited; severe: an austere life. 5. severely simple; without ornament: austere writing. 6. lacking softness; hard: an austere bed of straw. 7. rough to the taste; sour or harsh in flavor.