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With loss of original w-, due to Scandinavian una (to reside, dwell), from *wonstead, from won (to reside, dwell) +‎ stead. More at wone, stead.

Alternatively, possibly a corruption of homestead.


onstead (plural onsteads)

  1. (Britain, Scotland, dialect) A single farmhouse; a steading.
    • 1828, Robert Chambers, The Picture of Scotland (volume 1, page 232)
      The onstead, which is nearly the same as when inhabited by the poet, lies about seven miles from the town, on the right hand side of the road, surrounded by a few trees.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Francis Grose to this entry?)
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jamieson to this entry?)

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.