AskDefine | Define stern

Dictionary Definition

stern adj
1 of a stern or strict bearing or demeanor; forbidding in aspect; "an austere expression"; "a stern face" [syn: austere]
2 not to be placated or appeased or moved by entreaty; "grim determination"; "grim necessity"; "Russia's final hour, it seemed, approached with inexorable certainty"; "relentless persecution"; "the stern demands of parenthood" [syn: grim, inexorable, relentless, unappeasable, unforgiving, unrelenting]
3 severe and unremitting in making demands; "an exacting instructor"; "a stern disciplinarian"; "strict standards" [syn: strict, exacting]


1 the rear part of a ship [syn: after part, quarter, poop, tail]
2 United States concert violinist (born in Russia in 1920) [syn: Isaac Stern]
3 the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on; "he deserves a good kick in the butt"; "are you going to sit on your fanny and do nothing?" [syn: buttocks, nates, arse, butt, backside, bum, buns, can, fundament, hindquarters, hind end, keister, posterior, prat, rear, rear end, rump, seat, tail, tail end, tooshie, tush, bottom, behind, derriere, fanny, ass]

User Contributed Dictionary

see stern



Old High German sterno


Stern m (pl Sterne)

Extensive Definition

The stern is the rear or aft part of a ship or boat, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter to the taffrail. The stern lies opposite of the bow, the foremost part of a ship.
The stern area has always been the location near the steering apparatus (rudder, tiller, ship's wheel, etc), and by extension became the domain of the ship's captain and other officers. In particular, the stern was the location of the officers' quarters, and during the age of sail of the ship, with rows of windows, galleries, walkways, and elaborate decorations. This resulted in a certain amount of vulnerability, and the goal of much maneuvering in battle was to achieve the stern rake, in which a ship would pour its entire broadside into the stern.
Other features of the stern included lanterns and the ensign.
In the early part of the 19th century, the stern of larger ships became gradually more rounded, and with the advent of screw-powered vessels, the stern became the location of the equipment, the officers moving elsewhere, though British ships still contained an Admiral's sternwalk until well into the twentieth century.
In modern cruise ships, the stern is frequently the location of the dining room, so as to provide uninterrupted views of the sea.

Modern warships

In modern warships, particularly cruisers and destroyers, the stern is usually where the helicopter pad is located. The stern tends to be lower set when compared to other parts of the ship, and may contain a large caliber gun mount or missile magazines. Aircraft carriers typically use the deck space in the stern part of the ship for the recovery of incoming aircraft. Aircraft carriers may have aircraft elevators in the stern area to prevent interference of flight operations, which are launched from the bow. For submarines, both fast attack and ballistic missile, the stern is generally the location of the engine room and the motor room, if the submarine has one. If the submarine runs on nuclear power the stern may contain a heat exchanger and other parts associated with a nuclear reactor.
stern in Catalan: Popa
stern in Danish: Agter
stern in German: Heck
stern in Modern Greek (1453-): Πρύμνη
stern in Esperanto: Pobo (ŝipo)
stern in Spanish: Popa
stern in French: Poupe (bateau)
stern in Hebrew: ירכתיים
stern in Indonesian: Buritan
stern in Ido: Pupo
stern in Italian: Poppa
stern in Japanese: 船尾
stern in Dutch: Spiegel (schip)
stern in Polish: Rufa
stern in Portuguese: Popa
stern in Romanian: Pupă
stern in Russian: Корма
stern in Slovak: Korma
stern in Swedish: Akter

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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