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From state +‎ -ly. Compare stour.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈsteɪtli/
  • (file)


stately (comparative statelier, superlative stateliest)

  1. (of people) Worthy of respect; dignified, regal.
  2. (of movement) Deliberate, unhurried; dignified.
    • 2010 October 14, “An Own Goal on Gay Rights”, in The Economist:
      And much as they welcome his promise to repeal "don't ask, don't tell", they are dismayed by the stately pace and bungled tactics of his attempts to do so.
    • 2021 February 3, Drachinifel, Guadalcanal Campaign - Santa Cruz (IJN 2 : 2 USN)[1], archived from the original on 4 December 2022, 20:43 from the start:
      At about twenty past three in the afternoon, these aircraft duly began to arrive. The cruiser Northampton was towing Hornet at a stately five knots when, out of the sky, came seven torpedo-armed aircraft. They managed to miss the barely-moving Hornet with all but one drop... but one hit was really all that it took, the location causing additional damage to the stricken carrier and demolishing most of the repairs that had been made to the earlier damage.
  3. Grand; impressive; imposing.

Derived terms[edit]



stately (comparative more stately, superlative most stately)

  1. In a stately manner.