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From state +‎ -ly. Compare stour.



stately (comparative statelier, superlative stateliest)

  1. (of people) regal, dignified; worthy of respect.
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars, Chapter I,
      Warwick's first glance had revealed the fact that the young woman was strikingly handsome, with a stately beauty seldom encountered.
  2. (of movement) dignified; deliberate, unhurried.
    • 2010, "An own goal on gay rights", The Economist, 14 Oct 2010:
      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.
  3. Imposing; grand, impressive.
    • 1986, John le Carré, A Perfect Spy:
      Flora is a good scout, a favourite with the jockeys on account of her stately breasts and the generous use she puts them to.



stately (comparative more stately, superlative most stately)

  1. In a stately manner.