From Middle High German stift, steft, from Old High German stift, steft, from Proto-West Germanic *stift, from Proto-Germanic *stiftaz (“pin, nail”); likely derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *steyp- (“stiff, erect”), whence also German steif (“stiff”). Cognate with German Low German Stift.
- pin (short rod of metal, wood etc., used e.g. for fastening)
- pencil, pen, stylus; includes all rod-shaped writing implements other than fountain pens, though even these may be included informally
- (informal, dated) a boy, especially an apprentice
Stift m (plural Stift)