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stave (plural staves)
- One of a number of narrow strips of wood, or narrow iron plates, placed edge to edge to form the sides, covering, or lining of a vessel or structure; especially, one of the strips which form the sides of a cask, a pail, etc.
- One of the bars or rounds of a rack, rungs of a ladder, etc; one of the cylindrical bars of a lantern wheel
- (poetry) A metrical portion; a stanza; a staff.
- (music) The five horizontal and parallel lines on and between which musical notes are written or pointed; the staff.
- A staff or walking stick.
- A sign, symbol or sigil, including rune or rune-like characters, used in Icelandic magic.
narrow strip, a part of a vessel
metrical portion; stanza; staff
parallel lines to write music on
- (transitive) To fit or furnish with staves or rundles. [from 1540s]
- (transitive, usually with 'in') To break in the staves of; to break a hole in; to burst. [from 1590s]
- to stave in a cask
- 1743, Robert Drury, The Pleasant, and Surprizing Adventures of Mr. Robert Drury, during his Fifteen Years Captivity on the Island of Madagascar, London, p. 12,
- A great Sea constant runs here upon the Rocks, and before they got to Land their Boat was stav’d in Pieces […]
- 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, chapter 7, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299:
- And therefore three cheers for Nantucket; and come a stove boat and stove body when they will, for stave my soul, Jove himself cannot.
- 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, “Chapter 22”, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299:
- Be careful in the hunt, ye mates. Don’t stave the boats needlessly, ye harpooneers; good white cedar plank is raised full three per cent within the year.
- (transitive, with 'off') To push, or keep off, as with a staff. [from 1620s]
- (transitive, usually with 'off') To delay by force or craft; to drive away.
- We ate grass in an attempt to stave off our hunger.
- 2009, Brent Stransky, The Young Conservative's Field Guide, page 39:
- Congress had authorized seeds to be granted to the farmers there to stave hunger, but President Cleveland vetoed the bill.
- (intransitive, rare or archaic) To burst in pieces by striking against something.
- 1746, Robert Forbes, The Lyon in Mourning, volume 1, page 164:
- But Donald would not hear of that proposal at all, assuring the Prince that it was impossible for them to return to the land again, because the squall was against them, and that if they should steer for the rock the boat would undoubtedly stave to pieces and all of them behoved to be drowned, for there was no [fol. 284.] possibility of saving any one life amongst them upon such a dangerous rock, where the sea was dashing with the utmost violence.
- (intransitive, old-fashioned or dialect) To walk or move rapidly.
- 1845, The Century Magazine, volume 48, page 41:
- He turned and blundered out of the house, stumbling over a chair and trying a wrong door on the way, and went staving down the street as if afraid to look behind him.
- To suffer, or cause to be lost by breaking the cask.
- To render impervious or solid by driving with a calking iron.
- to stave lead, or the joints of pipes into which lead has been run
break in the staves of; to break a hole in; to burst
push, as with a staff
delay by force; to drive away
burst in pieces by striking against something
- Alternative form of
- to spell (words)
- “stave” in The Bokmål Dictionary.