austerity (n.)

mid-14c., "sternness, harshness," from Old French austerite "harshness, cruelty" (14c.) and directly from Late Latin austeritatem (nominative austeritas), from austerus "severe, rigid," a figurative use, in classical Latin "harsh, sour" (see austere). From 1580s as "severe self-discipline, ascetic practices;" hence "severe simplicity, absence of adornment or luxuries," applied during World War II to national policies limiting non-essentials as a wartime economy.

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