See Synonyms at severe. See more. the rear part of a ship.

stern noun [C] (SHIP) the back part of a ship or boat: The Red Ensign, the flag of the British Merchant Navy, is rarely seen these days except on the sterns of a few cruise liners and cross … The stern glands thus seal the area between the stern tube and the propeller shaft. Definition of stern. 2 : a hinder or rear part : the last or latter part. Hard, harsh, or severe in manner or character: a stern disciplinarian.

1. Definition of stern (Entry 2 of 4) 1 : the rear end of a boat. Stern definition, firm, strict, or uncompromising: stern discipline. ‘The stern of a ship was sticking out of the water, the rest already beneath the water's surface.’ ‘The last of the setting sun glinted on antennae, radar and spotlights as they hugged the stern of the pilot boat.’ ‘To sink the ship we created large holes so the water would slowly flow into the stern of the ship … The glands are attached at the forward end of the stern tube and prevent the passing of sea water into the ship. Forward: Forward on a ship means toward the direction of the bow. Stern: The stern is located at the back end of the ship, opposite from the bow. The stern tube is a sensitive part of the ship where the sea water can easily seep inside. 2. United States concert violinist (born in Russia in 1920) severe and unremitting in making demands; "an exacting instructor"; "a stern disciplinarian"; "strict standards".