AskDefine | Define austerity

Dictionary Definition

austerity n : the trait of great self-denial (especially refraining from worldly pleasures) [syn: asceticism, nonindulgence]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

  1. Sourness and harshness to the taste.
  2. Severity of manners or life; extreme rigor or strictness; harsh discipline.
  3. Freedom from adornment; plainness; severe simplicity.

Translations

  • Spanish: austeridad

References

Extensive Definition

In economics, austerity is when a national government reduces its spending in order to pay back creditors. Austerity is usually required when a government's fiscal deficit spending is felt to be unsustainable.
Development projects, welfare programs and other social spending are common areas of spending for cuts. In many countries, austerity measures have been associated with short-term standard of living declines until economic conditions improved once fiscal balance was achieved (such as in the United Kingdom under Margaret Thatcher, Canada under Jean Chrétien, and Spain under González).
Private banks, or institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), may require that a country pursues an 'austerity policy' if it wants to re-finance loans that are about to come due. The government may be asked to stop issuing subsidies or to otherwise reduce public spending. When the IMF requires such a policy, the terms are known as 'IMF conditionalities'.
In the West, the most wartime austerity (1940-1945), which was followed by postwar austerity (1945-early 1950s).

Examples of austerity

austerity in German: Austerität
austerity in French: Austérité
austerity in Italian: Austerità
austerity in Portuguese: Austeridade

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Albigensianism, Catharism, Franciscanism, Lenten fare, Sabbatarianism, Spartan simplicity, Spartanism, Trappism, Waldensianism, Yoga, abstinence, anchoritic monasticism, anchoritism, asceticism, astringency, austerity program, authoritarianism, baldness, bareness, candor, canniness, care, carefulness, chariness, common speech, demandingness, directness, discipline, economic planning, economicalness, economy, economy of means, eremitism, exactingness, exiguity, exiguousness, false economy, fasting, flagellation, forehandedness, frankness, frugality, frugalness, good management, grimness, hardness, harshness, homespun, household words, husbandry, inclemency, inornateness, jejuneness, jejunity, leanness, maceration, management, matter-of-factness, meagerness, meanness, mendicantism, meticulousness, miserliness, monachism, monasticism, mortification, narrowness, naturalness, niggardliness, openness, paltriness, parsimoniousness, parsimony, plain English, plain speaking, plain speech, plain style, plain words, plainness, prosaicness, prosiness, providence, prudence, prudential administration, puniness, puritanism, regimentation, restrainedness, rigid discipline, rigor, roughness, ruggedness, rustic style, scantiness, scantness, scrawniness, scrimpiness, self-denial, self-mortification, severity, simpleness, simplicity, skimpiness, slenderness, slightness, slim pickings, slimness, smallness, soberness, spareness, sparingness, starkness, sternness, stinginess, straightforwardness, strictness, stringency, thinness, thrift, thriftiness, tight purse strings, toughness, unadorned style, unadornedness, unaffectedness, unelaborateness, unfanciness, unfussiness, ungentleness, unimaginativeness, unpoeticalness, unwastefulness, vernacular, voluntary poverty
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