- (Received Pronunciation) enPR: stônch, stônsh, IPA(key): /stɔːn(t)ʃ/
Audio (Southern England) (file)
- (General American) enPR: stônch, stônsh, stänch, stänsh, IPA(key): /stɔn(t)ʃ/, /stɑn(t)ʃ/
- (some accents) enPR: stänch, stänsh, IPA(key): /stɑːn(t)ʃ/
- Rhymes: -ɔːntʃ, -ɑːntʃ
From Middle English staunch, staunche (“(adjective) in good condition or repair; solidly made, firm; watertight; of a person or wound: not bleeding; certain; intact; (adverb) firmly, soundly”) [and other forms], from Anglo-Norman estaunche, Old French estanche (“firm; watertight”) (modern French étanche (“airtight; watertight”)), a variant of estanc (“a pond”), from estanchier (“to stop the flow of a liquid (blood, water, etc.); to make (something) watertight; to quench (thirst)”) (modern French étancher), possibly from one of the following:
- From Vulgar Latin *stagnicāre, from Latin stāgnum (“piece of standing water, pond; fen, swamp”), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *steh₂g- (“to drip; to seep”).
- From Vulgar Latin *stānticāre, from *stānticus (“tired”), from Latin stāns, stāntis (“standing; remaining, staying”). Stāns is the present active participle of stō (“to stand; to remain, stay”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *steh₂- (“to stand (up)”).
- Not permitting water or some other liquid to escape or penetrate; watertight.
- c. 1606–1607, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene ii], page 346, column 2:
- Yet if I knevv, / VVhat Hoope ſhould hold vs ſtaunch from edge to edge / Ath'vvorld [of the world]: I vvould perſue it.
- 1726 October 28, [Jonathan Swift], “A Great Storm Described, the Long-Boat Sent to Fetch Water, the Author Goes with It to Discover the Country. […]”, in Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. […], volume I, London: […] Benj[amin] Motte, […], →OCLC, part II (A Voyage to Brobdingnag), page 153:
- Our Proviſions held out vvell, our Ship vvas ſtaunch, and our Crevv all in good Health; but vve lay in the utmoſt diſtreſs for VVater.
- (by extension) Impermeable to air or other gases; airtight.
- Synonym: hermetically sealed
- 1669, Robert Boyle, “Experiment XLVII. About an Attempt Made to Measure the Force of the Spring of Included Air, and Examine a Conjecture about the Difference of Its Strength in Unequally Broad Mouth’d Vessels.”, in A Continuation of New Experiments Physico-Mechanical, Touching the Spring and Weight of the Air, and Their Effects. The I. Part. […], Oxford, Oxfordshire: […] Henry Hall, printer to the University, for Richard Davis, →OCLC, page 160:
- [T]vvas very difficult to procure a Bladder ſmall and fine enough for that litle Cylinder; and that one, vvhich at length vve procured, vvould not continue ſtanch for many Tryals, but vvould after a vvhile part vvith a litle Air in the vvell exhauſted Receiver, vvhen tvvas clog'd vvith the utmoſt VVeight it could ſuſtain: but vvhilſt it continued ſtanch vve made one fair Tryal vvith it, […]
- Strongly built; also, in good or strong condition.
- 1644, John Milton, Areopagitica; a Speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing, to the Parlament of England, London: [s.n.], →OCLC, page 27:
- Hovv goodly, and hovv to be vviſht vvere ſuch an obedient unanimity as this, vvhat a fine conformity vvould it ſtarch us all into? doubtles a ſtanch and ſolid peece of frame-vvork, as any January could freeze together.
- 1679 August 2 (Gregorian calendar), John Evelyn, “[Diary entry for 23 July 1679]”, in William Bray, editor, Memoirs, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of John Evelyn, […], 2nd edition, volume I, London: Henry Colburn, […]; and sold by John and Arthur Arch, […], published 1819, →OCLC, page 511:
- [T]he house a stanch good old building, and what was singular, some of the roomes floor'd dove-tail-wise without a nail, exactly close. One of the closetts is parquetted with plaine deale, set in diamond, exceeding stanch and pretty.
- 1692, John Ray, “The Fourth Question Resolved, Whether Shall there Be Any Signs or Forerunners of the Dissolution of the World?”, in Miscellaneous Discourses Concerning the Dissolution and Changes of the World. […], London: […] Samuel Smith, […], →OCLC, page 178:
- [T]he VVorld continues ſtill as firm and ſtaunch as it vvas three thouſand years ago; and vvhy hereafter it ſhould founder and decay more than it hath done for ſo many Ages heretofore, vvhat reaſon can be given?
- 1856 May 10 (date written), Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Scotland.—Glasgow. May 10th. [1856.]”, in Passages from the English Note-books of Nathaniel Hawthorne, volume II, Boston, Mass.: Fields, Osgood, & Co., published 1870, →OCLC, page 34:
- This part of the castle was burned last autumn; but it is now under repair, and the wall of the tower is still stanch and strong.
- Staying true to one's aims or principles; firm, resolute, unswerving.
- Synonyms: constant, determined, persistent, steadfast, unwavering, unyielding
- Without our staunch front line the enemy would have split the regiment.
- 1624, Phillip [i.e., Philip] Massinger, The Bond-man: An Antient Storie. […], London: […] Edw[ard] Allde, for Iohn Harison and Edward Blackmore, […], →OCLC, Act I, scene iii, signature [B4], recto:
- VVe may commend / A Gentlemans modeſty, manners, and fine language, / […] / Yet, though he obſerue, and vvaſte his ſtate vpon vs, / If he be ſtanch and bid not for the ſtocke / That vve vvere borne to traffick vvith; the truth is / VVe care not for his company.
- 1689 May 24 (date written; Gregorian calendar), Mat[thew] Prior, “An Epistle to Fleetwood Shephard, Esq”, in Poems on Several Occasions, 2nd edition, London: […] Jacob Tonson […], published 1709, →OCLC, page 20:
- In Politicks, I hear, you're ſtanch, / Directly bent againſt the French; / Deny to have your free-born Toe / Dragoon'd into a VVooden Shoe: […]
- 1818 July 25, Jedadiah Cleishbotham [pseudonym; Walter Scott], chapter IV, in Tales of My Landlord, Second Series, […] (The Heart of Mid-Lothian), volume I, Edinburgh: […] [James Ballantyne and Co.] for Archibald Constable and Company, →OCLC, page 176:
- They seemed completely satiated with the vengeance they had prosecuted with such staunch and sagacious activity.
- 1823, [Walter Scott], “The Sally”, in Quentin Durward. […], volume III, Edinburgh: […] [James Ballantyne and Co.] for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co., →OCLC, page 344:
- It is therefore probable that De la Marck might have effected his escape, […] but for the staunch pursuit of Quentin, his uncle Le Balafré, and some of his comrades.
- 1824, Geoffrey Crayon [pseudonym; Washington Irving], “Buckthorne, or The Young Man of Great Expectations”, in Tales of a Traveller, part 1 (Strange Stories. […]), Philadelphia, Pa.: H[enry] C[harles] Carey & I[saac] Lea, […], →OCLC, page 126:
- My father was amazingly ignorant—so ignorant, in fact, as not to know that he knew nothing. He was staunch, however, to church and king, and full of old-fashioned prejudices.
- 1841 February–November, Charles Dickens, “Barnaby Rudge”, in Master Humphrey’s Clock, volume II, London: Chapman & Hall, […], →OCLC, chapter 6, page 265:
- Is it like you, who have known me so long and sought my advice in all matters—like you, who from a girl have had a strong mind and a staunch heart?
- 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 16: Eumaeus]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare and Company, […], →OCLC, part III [Nostos], page 571:
- [T]ouching the much vexed question of stimulants he relished a glass of choice old wine in season as both nourishing and bloodmaking and possessing aperient virtues (notably a good burgundy which he was a staunch believer in) […]
- Dependable, loyal, reliable, trustworthy.
- He’s been a staunch supporter of mine through every election.
- 1838, Boz [pseudonym; Charles Dickens], “A Strange Interview, Which Is a Sequel to the Last Chapter”, in Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy’s Progress. […], volume III, London: Richard Bentley, […], →OCLC, page 49:
- [T]here ain't a stauncher-hearted gal going, or I'd have cut her throat three months ago.
- 1959 April, P. Ransome-Wallis, “The Southern in Trouble on the Kent Coast”, in Trains Illustrated, London: Ian Allan Publishing, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 213:
- Never at any time in its history has there been so much universal anger at and criticism of the Southern. The railway's staunchest friends must concede that most of it is justified.
- (chiefly hunting) Of a hunting dog: that can be depended on to pick up the scent of, or to mark, game.
- 1575, Jacques du Fouilloux, “Certaine Observations and Subtleties to be Used by Huntsmen in Hunting an Hart at Force”, in George Gascoigne, transl., The Noble Art of Venerie or Hunting. […], London: […] Thomas Purfoot, published 1611, →OCLC, page 112:
- [T]he horſemen & huntſmen ſhould blemiſh at ſuch places as they ſee the Hart enter into a thicket or couert to the end that if the hounds fall to change, they may return to thoſe blemiſhes, and put their hounds to the right ſlot and view, vntill they haue rowzed or found him againe with their bloudhound, or with ſome other ſtanch old hound of the kennell, in the which they may aſſie themſelues. For old ſtaunch houndes which will not hunt change, when they ſee an Hart rowzed & before them, they neuer call on, nor once open: but if they be young raſh houndes, they will runne with full cry & ſo take change.
- 1810, Walter Scott, “Canto I. The Chase.”, in The Lady of the Lake; a Poem, Edinburgh: […] [James Ballantyne and Co.] for John Ballantyne and Co.; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, and William Miller, →OCLC, stanza VII, page 10:
- For, scarce a spear's length from his haunch, / Vindictive toiled the blood-hounds staunch; […]
- (obsolete) Cautious, restrained.
- Synonym: guarded
- a. 1678 (date written), Isaac Barrow, “The Ninth Sermon. 1 Thess[alonians] 4. 11.”, in Several Sermons against Evil-Speaking, London: […] Brabazon Aylmer, […], published 1678, →OCLC, page 105:
- It is good to be very ſtaunch and cautious of talking about other Men and their Concernments, in vvay of paſſing Characters on them, or deſcanting upon their Proceedings for vvant of other Diſcourse: This is the common refuge of Idleneſs, and the practice of fidling Goſſips, vvho becauſe they vvill do nothing themſelves, muſt be reflecting upon the doings of others; […]
- stubborn, intransigent
- Staying true to one's aims or principles; firm, resolute, unswerving.
- stanch (archaic)
From Middle English staunchen, staunche (“to stop the flow of blood, diarrhoea, or other bodily fluids; to alleviate, ease; to appease, assuage, satisfy; to cure; to overcome; to put an end to; to repress, suppress; of a river or stream: to stop flowing; of waters, wind, or weather: to become calm, subside; to extinguish or put out (a fire)”) [and other forms], from Anglo-Norman estauncher, estaunchier, estanger, Old French estancher, estanchier (verb) [and other forms]; see further at etymology 1 and at stanch.
- Alternative spelling of
- 1535 October 14 (Gregorian calendar), Myles Coverdale, transl., Biblia: The Byble, […] (Coverdale Bible), [Cologne or Marburg: Eucharius Cervicornus and J. Soter?], →OCLC, Ezechiel xxxj:, folio lxviij, recto, column 2:
- I will couer the depe vpon him, I will ſtaunch his floudes, and the greate waters ſhalbe reſtrayned.
- 1820, Walter Scott, chapter VII, in Ivanhoe; a Romance. […], volume III, Edinburgh: […] Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co. […], →OCLC, page 178:
- [T]he iron head of a square cross-bow bolt disengaged itself from the wound, the bleeding was staunched, the wound was closed, and the dying man was, within the quarter of an hour, walking upon the ramparts, […]
Stanch is more commonly used as the spelling of the verb compared to staunch, especially in the United States; while staunch is more common as the spelling of the adjective, with stanch now regarded as archaic. Prescriptively, some readers may assume that reversals of these preferences are incorrect.
|present tense||past tense|
|2nd-person singular||staunch, staunchest†||staunched, staunchedst†|
|3rd-person singular||staunches, stauncheth†||staunched|
- from Middle English staunche, stanche (“something which stops the flow of blood; (figuratively) shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)”), from Old French estanche (“pond; tank”), from estanc (“pond”) (modern French étang (“pond; lagoon”)), from estanchier (verb): see further at etymology 2; and/or
- derived directly from the verb.
staunch (plural staunches)
- (obsolete) That which stanches or checks a flow.
- (obsolete) An act of stanching or stopping.
- (mining) Synonym of
staunch (plural staunches)
- Alternative spelling of
- ^ “staunch(e, adj.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ “staunch, adj.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2022; “staunch1, adj.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- “stanch | staunch, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2022; “staunch2, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- ^ “staunchen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ Compare “stanch | staunch, n.1”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022.
- ^ “staunche, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.