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Alternative forms[edit]


From Old French estanchier (to stanch), origin uncertain, possibly from Vulgar Latin *stanticō (to stop), from Latin stō (stand). 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.
    A small amount of cotton can be stuffed into the nose to stanch the flow of blood if necessary.
    • Francis Bacon
      Iron or a stone laid to the neck doth stanch the bleeding of the nose.
  2. (intransitive) To cease, as the flowing of blood.
    • Bible, Luke viii. 44
      Immediately her issue of blood stanched.
  3. (transitive) To prop; to make stanch, or strong.
    • Emerson
      His gathered sticks to stanch the wall / Of the snow tower when snow should fall.
  4. To extinguish; to quench, as fire or thirst.



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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)


stanch (comparative stancher, superlative stanchest)

  1. Strong and tight; sound; firm.
    a stanch ship
    • Evelyn
      One of the closets is parqueted with plain deal, set in diamond, exceeding stanch and pretty.
  2. Firm in principle; constant and zealous; loyal; hearty; steadfast.
    a stanch churchman; a stanch friend or adherent
    • Prior
      In politics I hear you're stanch.
  3. Close; secret; private.
    • John Locke
      this to be kept stanch