sty

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English sty, from Old English stī, stiġ (sty, pen, a wooden enclosure; hall, chiefly in compounds), from Proto-Germanic *stiją. Cognate with German Steige (hen-coop), Danish sti (enclosure for swine, sheep, hens, etc.), Swedish stia (sty for pigs, geese, etc.), Norwegian sti (flock of sheep), Icelandic stía (a kennel).

Noun[edit]

sty (plural sties)

  1. A pen or enclosure for swine.
  2. (figuratively) A messy, dirty or debauched place.
    • Milton
      To roll with pleasure in a sensual sty.
Synonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

sty (third-person singular simple present sties, present participle stying, simple past and past participle stied)

  1. To place in, or as if in, a sty.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  2. To live in a sty, or any messy or dirty place.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English stien, stiȝen, from Old English stīġan (to go; ascend, mount), from Proto-Germanic *stīganą, from Proto-Indo-European *steygʰ-. Cognate with Dutch stijgen, German steigen, Swedish stiga, Old Norse stíga.

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

sty (third-person singular simple present sties, present participle stying, simple past and past participle stied)

  1. (obsolete) To ascend, rise up, climb. [9th-17th c.]
    • 1395, John Wycliffe, Bible, Isaiah LIII:
      And he schal stie as a ȝerde bifor him, and as a roote fro þirsti lond.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.xi:
      The beast impatient of his smarting wound, / And of so fierce and forcible despight, / Thought with his wings to stye aboue the ground [...].
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

sty (plural sties)

  1. (UK, dialectal) A ladder.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Probably a back-formation from styany, mistaken for "sty-on-eye" but correctly from Middle English styany, composed of styan ("sty"; from Old English stīġende, present participle of stīgan (to rise)) + y (eye).

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

sty (plural sties)

  1. (pathology) An inflammation of the eyelid.
Translations[edit]