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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English staunchen (verb) and staunche (adjective), from Old French estanchier (to stanch) and estanche, origin uncertain, possibly from Vulgar Latin *stanticō (to stop), from Latin stō (stand). Compare Spanish estancar. See also staunch.



stanch (third-person singular simple present stanches, present participle stanching, simple past and past participle stanched)

  1. (transitive) To stop the flow of (something).
    A small amount of cotton can be stuffed into the nose to stanch the flow of blood if necessary.
    • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “(please specify |century=I to X)”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] William Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], OCLC 1044372886:
      Iron or a stone laid to the neck doth stanch the bleeding of the nose.
    • 2019, Andrew McCormick, “What It’s Like to Report on Rights Abuses Against Your Own Family”, in The Atlantic[1]:
      Beijing devotes immense resources to restricting access for and stanching scrutiny from international groups and reporters.
  2. (intransitive) To cease, as the flowing of blood.
  3. (transitive) To prop; to make stanch, or strong.
    • 1847, R[alph] W[aldo] Emerson, “Threnody”, in Poems, Boston, Mass.: James Munroe and Company, OCLC 625986, page 240:
      His gathered sticks to stanch the wall / Of the snow-tower, when snow should fall; []
  4. To extinguish; to quench, as fire or thirst.

Usage notes[edit]

See staunch > Verb > Usage notes.



stanch (plural stanches)

  1. That which stanches or checks a flow.
  2. A floodgate by which water is accumulated, for floating a boat over a shallow part of a stream by its release[1].


stanch (comparative stancher, superlative stanchest)

  1. Strong and tight; sound; firm.
    a stanch ship
  2. Firm in principle; constant and zealous; loyal; hearty; steadfast.
    a stanch churchman; a stanch friend or adherent
    • 1689, Matthew Prior, an epistle to Fleetwood Shepherd, Esq.
      In politics I hear you're stanch.
  3. Close; secret; private.


  1. ^ 1874, Edward H. Knight, American Mechanical Dictionary