stead

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English sted, stede, from Old English stede, from Proto-Germanic *stadiz, from Proto-Indo-European *stéh₂tis. Related to German Stadt, Gothic 𐍃𐍄𐌰𐌸𐍃 (staþs, place), Danish and Swedish stad, Dutch stad, Yiddish שטאָט (shtot).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

stead (plural steads)

  1. (obsolete) A place, or spot, in general. [10th-16th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faery Queene, II:
      For he ne wonneth in one certaine stead, / But restlesse walketh all the world around [...].
  2. (obsolete) A place where a person normally rests; a seat. [10th-18th c.]
    • 1633, P Fletcher, Purple Island:
      There now the hart, fearlesse of greyhound, feeds, / And loving pelican in safety breeds; / There shrieking satyres fill the people's emptie steads.
  3. (obsolete) A specific place or point on a body or other surface. [11th-15th c.]
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, VII:
      Thus they fought two houres [...] & in many stedys they were wounded.
  4. (obsolete) An inhabited place; a settlement, city, town etc. [13th-16th c.]
  5. (obsolete) An estate, a property with its grounds; a farm. [14th-19th c.]
    • 1889, H Rider Haggard, Allan's Wife:
      But of course I could not do this by myself, so I took a Hottentot—a very clever man when he was not drunk—who lived on the stead, into my confidence.
  6. (obsolete) The frame on which a bed is laid; a bedstead. [15th-19th c.]
    • Dryden
      The genial bed / Sallow the feet, the borders, and the stead.
  7. (in phrases, now literary) The position or function (of someone or something), as taken on by a successor. [from 15th c.]
    • 1818, Jane Austen, Persuasion:
      She was so wretched and so vehement, complained so much of injustice in being expected to go away instead of Anne; Anne, who was nothing to Louisa, while she was her sister, and had the best right to stay in Henrietta's stead!
    • 2011, "Kin selection", The Economist, 31 Mar 2011:
      Had Daniel Ortega not got himself illegally on to this year’s ballot to seek a third term, his wife might have run in his stead.
  8. Figuratively, an emotional or circumstantial "place" having specified advantages, qualities etc. (now only in phrases). [from 15th c.]
    • 2010, Dan van der Vat, The Guardian, 19 Sep 2010:
      Though small and delicate-looking, she gave an impression of intense earnestness and latent toughness, qualities that stood her in good stead when she dared to challenge the most intrusive communist society in eastern Europe.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

stead (third-person singular simple present steads, present participle steading, simple past and past participle steaded)

  1. To help; to support; to benefit; to assist.
    • 1610, The Tempest, by Shakespeare, act 1 scene 2
      Some food we had and some fresh water that / A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo, / Out of his charity,—who being then appointed / Master of this design,—did give us, with / Rich garments, linens, stuffs, and necessaries, / Which since have steaded much: [...]
  2. To fill place of.

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]