Austere - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
Austere[ 1,,G840, austeros ]
akin to auo, to dry up" (Eng., "austere"), primarily denotes "stringent to the taste," like new wine not matured by age, unripe fruit, etc; hence, "harsh, severe," Luke 19:21-Luke 19:22.
Note: Synonymous with austeros, but to be distinguished from it, is skleros (from skello, "to be dry"). It was applied to that which lacks moisture, and so is rough and disageeable to the touch, and hence came to denote "harsh, stern, hard." It is used by Matthew to describe the unprofitable servant's remark concerning his master, in the parable corresponding to that in Luke 19 (See austeros, above). Austeros is derived from a word having to do with the taste, skleros, "with the touch." Austeros is not necessarily a term of reproach, whereas skleros is always so, and indicates a harsh, even inhuman, character. Austeros is "rather the exaggeration of a virtue pushed too far, than an absolute vice" (Trench, Syn. xiv). Skleros is used of the character of a man, Matthew 25:24; of a saying, John 6:60; of the difficulty and pain of kicking against the ox-goads, Acts 9:5; Acts 26:14; of rough winds, James 3:4 and of harsh speeches, Jude 1:15. See FIERCE, HARD. Cp. sklerotes, "hardness," skleruno, "to harden," sklerokardia, "hardness of heart," and sklerotrachelos, "stiff-necked."