stay

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English *stay, from Old English stæġ ‎(stay, a rope supporting a mast), from Proto-Germanic *stagą ‎(stay, rope), from Proto-Indo-European *stek-, *stāk- ‎(stand, pole), from Proto-Indo-European *stā- ‎(to stand). Cognate with Dutch stag ‎(stay), German Stag ‎(stay), Swedish stag ‎(stay), Icelandic stag ‎(stay).

Noun[edit]

stay ‎(plural stays)

  1. (nautical) A strong rope supporting a mast, and leading from one masthead down to some other, or other part of the vessel.
  2. A guy, rope, or wire supporting or stabilizing a platform, such as a bridge, a pole, such as a tentpole, the mast of a derrick, or other structural element.
    The engineer insisted on using stays for the scaffolding.
  3. (chain-cable) The transverse piece in a link.
Synonyms[edit]
Hyponyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

stay ‎(third-person singular simple present stays, present participle staying, simple past and past participle stayed)

  1. (transitive, nautical) To incline forward, aft, or to one side by means of stays.
    stay a mast
  2. (transitive, nautical) To tack; put on the other tack.
    to stay ship
  3. (intransitive, nautical) To change; tack; go about; be in stays, as a ship.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English steyen, staien, from Old French estayer, estaier ‎(to fix, prop up, support, stay), from estaye, estaie ‎(a prop, stay), from Middle Dutch staeye ‎(a prop, stay), a contracted form of staede, stade ("a prop, stay, help, aid"; compare Middle Dutch staeyen, staeden ‎(to make firm, stay, support, hold still, stabilise)), from Old Dutch *stad ‎(a site, place, location, standing), from Proto-Germanic *stadiz ‎(a standing, place), from Proto-Indo-European *stā- ‎(to stand). Influenced by Old English stæġ ("a stay, rope"; see above). Cognate with Old English stede, stæde ‎(a place, spot, locality, fixed position, station, site, standing, status, position of a moving body, stopping, standing still, stability, fixity, firmness, steadfastness), Swedish stödja ‎(to prop, support, brace, hold up, bolster), Icelandic stöðug ‎(continuous, stable). More at stead, steady.

Sense of "remain, continue" may be due to later influence from Old French ester, esteir ‎(to stand, be, continue, remain), from Latin stāre ‎(stand), from the same Proto-Indo-European root above; however, derivation from this root is untenable based on linguistic and historical grounds[1].

An alternative etymology derives Old French estaye, estaie, from Old Frankish *staka ‎(stake, post), from Proto-Germanic *stakô ‎(stake, bar, stick, pole), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)teg- ‎(rod, pole, stick), making it cognate with Old English staca ‎(pin, stake), Old English stician ‎(to stick, be placed, lie, remain fixed). Cognate with Albanian shtagë ‎(a long stick, a pole). More at stake, stick.

Verb[edit]

stay ‎(third-person singular simple present stays, present participle staying, simple past and past participle stayed)

  1. (transitive) To prop; support; sustain; hold up; steady.
  2. (transitive) To stop; detain; keep back; delay; hinder.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616)
      Your ships are stay'd at Venice.
    • John Evelyn (1620-1706)
      This business staid me in London almost a week.
    • John Locke (1632-1705)
      I was willing to stay my reader on an argument that appeared to me new.
    • Bible, Exodus xvii. 12
      Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side.
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      Sallows and reeds [] for vineyards useful found / To stay thy vines.
  3. (transitive) To restrain; withhold; check; stop.
    • Richard Hooker (1554-1600)
      all that may stay their minds from thinking that true which they heartily wish were false
  4. (transitive) To put off; defer; postpone; delay; keep back.
    The governor stayed the execution until the appeal could be heard.
  5. (transitive) To hold the attention of.
  6. (transitive) To bear up under; to endure; to hold out against; to resist.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616)
      She will not stay the siege of loving terms, / Nor bide the encounter of assailing eyes.
  7. (transitive) To wait for; await.
  8. (intransitive) To rest; depend; rely.
  9. (intransitive) To stop; come to a stand or standstill.
  10. (intransitive) To come to an end; cease.
    That day the storm stayed.
  11. (intransitive) To dwell; linger; tarry; wait.
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      I must stay a little on one action.
  12. (intransitive) To make a stand; stand.
  13. (intransitive) To hold out, as in a race or contest; last or persevere to the end.
    That horse stays well.
  14. (intransitive) To remain in a particular place, especially for an indefinite time; sojourn; abide.
    We stayed in Hawaii for a week.  I can only stay for an hour.
    • Edmund Spenser (c.1552–1599)
      She would command the hasty sun to stay.
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      Stay, I command you; stay and hear me first.
    • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
      I stay a little longer, as one stays / To cover up the embers that still burn.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 5, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      “Well,” I says, “I cal'late a body could get used to Tophet if he stayed there long enough.” ¶ She flared up; the least mite of a slam at Doctor Wool was enough to set her going.
  15. (intransitive) To wait; rest in patience or expectation.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616)
      I'll tell thee all my whole device / When I am in my coach, which stays for us.
    • John Locke (1632-1705)
      The father cannot stay any longer for the fortune.
  16. (intransitive, used with on or upon) To wait as an attendant; give ceremonious or submissive attendance.
  17. (intransitive) To continue to have a particular quality.
    Wear gloves so your hands stay warm.
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      The flames augment, and stay / At their full height, then languish to decay.
    • 2013 June 21, Oliver Burkeman, “The tao of tech”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 2, page 27: 
      The dirty secret of the internet is that all this distraction and interruption is immensely profitable. Web companies like to boast about […], or offering services that let you "stay up to date with what your friends are doing", [] and so on. But the real way to build a successful online business is to be better than your rivals at undermining people's control of their own attention.
  18. To support from sinking; to sustain with strength; to satisfy in part or for the time.
    • Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
      He has devoured a whole loaf of bread and butter, and it has not staid his stomach for a minute.
  19. (obsolete) To remain for the purpose of; to wait for.
  20. To cause to cease; to put an end to.
  21. To fasten or secure with stays.
    to stay a flat sheet in a steam boiler
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitney, Century Dictionary and Encyclopedia, stay.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English *staye, from Old French estaye, estaie ‎(a prop, a stay), from Middle Dutch staeye ‎(a prop, stay), a contracted form of staede, stade ("a prop, stay, help, aid"; compare Middle Dutch staeyen, staeden ‎(to make firm, stay, support, hold still, stabilise)), from Old Dutch *stad ‎(a site, place, location, standing), from Proto-Germanic *stadiz ‎(a standing, place), from Proto-Indo-European *stā- ‎(to stand). See above.

Noun[edit]

stay ‎(plural stays)

  1. A prop; a support.
    • Milton
      My only strength and stay.
    • Addison
      Trees serve as so many stays for their vines.
    • Coleridge
      Lord Liverpool is the single stay of this ministry.
  2. (archaic) A fastening for a garment; a hook; a clasp; anything to hang another thing on.
  3. That which holds or restrains; obstacle; check; hindrance; restraint.
  4. A stop; a halt; a break or cessation of action, motion, or progress.
    • Milton
      Made of sphere metal, never to decay / Until his revolution was at stay.
    • Hayward
      Affairs of state seemed rather to stand at a stay.
  5. (archaic) A standstill; a state of rest; entire cessation of motion or progress.
    stand at a stay
  6. A postponement, especially of an execution or other punishment.
    The governor granted a stay of execution.
  7. A fixed state; fixedness; stability; permanence.
  8. Continuance or a period of time spent in a place; abode for an indefinite time; sojourn.
    I hope you enjoyed your stay in Hawaii.
  9. (nautical) A station or fixed anchorage for vessels.
  10. Restraint of passion; prudence; moderation; caution; steadiness; sobriety.
    • Herbert
      Not grudging that thy lust hath bounds and stays.
    • Francis Bacon
      The wisdom, stay, and moderation of the king.
    • Philips
      With prudent stay he long deferred / The rough contention.
  11. A piece of stiff material, such as plastic or whalebone, used to stiffen a piece of clothing.
    Where are the stays for my collar?
  12. (obsolete) Hindrance; let; check.
    • Robynson (More's Utopia)
      They were able to read good authors without any stay, if the book were not false.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

From Middle English *steȝe, from Old English *stǣġe, an apocopated variant of Old English stǣġel ‎(steep, abrupt), from Proto-Germanic *staigilaz ‎(climbing, ascending, sloping, steep), see sty.

Alternative forms[edit]

Adjective[edit]

stay ‎(comparative stayer or more stay, superlative stayest or most stay)

  1. (Britain dialectal) Steep; ascending.
  2. (Britain dialectal) (of a roof) Steeply pitched.
  3. (Britain dialectal) Difficult to negotiate; not easy to access; sheer.
  4. (Britain dialectal) Stiff; upright; unbending; reserved; haughty; proud.

Adverb[edit]

stay ‎(comparative staylier or more stay, superlative stayliest or most stay)

  1. (Britain dialectal) Steeply.

Statistics[edit]

Anagrams[edit]