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n. (Zool.) The black tern.


 - adj. Having a certain hardness or severity of nature, manner, or aspect; hard; severe; rigid; rigorous; austere; fixed; unchanging; unrelenting; hence, serious; resolute; harsh; as, a stern resolve; a stern necessity; a stern heart; a stern gaze; a stern decree.


Syn. - Gloomy; sullen; forbidding; strict; unkind; hard- hearted; unfeeling; cruel; pitiless.


 - n. The helm or tiller of a vessel or boat; also, the rudder. (Naut.) The after or rear end of a ship or other vessel, or of a boat; the part opposite to the stem, or prow. Fig.: The post of management or direction. The hinder part of anything. The tail of an animal; - now used only of the tail of a dog. By the stern. (Naut.) See By the head, under By.


 - adj. Being in the stern, or being astern; as, the stern davits. Stern board (Naut.), a going or falling astern; a loss of way in making a tack; as, to make a stern board. See Board, n.


 - Stern chase. (Naut.) (a) See under Chase, n. A stern chaser.

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