stay

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See also: Stay and staþ

English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: stā, IPA(key): /steɪ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪ

Etymology 1[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 Frankish *stad (a site, place, location, standing), from Proto-Germanic *stadiz (a standing, place), from Proto-Indo-European *stéh₂tis (standing). Influenced by Old English stæġ ("a stay, rope"; see below). 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 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 or (obsolete) staid)

  1. (transitive) To prop; support; sustain; hold up; steady.
    • c. 1593, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Richard the Third: []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene vii]:
      Lord Mayor of London. See, where he stands between two clergymen!
      Duke of Buckingham. Two props of virtue for a Christian prince,
      To stay him from the fall of vanity:
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], OCLC 964384981, Exodus 17:12:
      But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
    • 1677, Hannah Woolley, The Compleat Servant-Maid, London: T. Passinger, “Directions for Writing the most Vsual and Legible Hands for Women”, p. 17,[1]
      Draw in your right elbow, turn your hand outward and bear it lightly, gripe not the pen too hard, with your left hand stay the paper.
    • 1725, John Dryden (translator), Virgil’s Husbandry, or an Essay on the Georgics, London, Book 2, p. 37,[2]
      Sallows and Reeds, on Banks of Rivers born,
      Remain to cut; for Vineyards useful found,
      To stay thy Vines and fence thy fruitful Ground.
  2. (transitive) To support from sinking; to sustain with strength; to satisfy in part or for the time.
  3. (transitive) To stop; detain; keep back; delay; hinder.
    • c. 1590–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene ii]:
      Your ships are stay’d at Venice.
    • 1671, John Evelyn, Diary, entry dated 14 November, 1671, in The Diary of John Evelyn, London: Macmillan, 1906, Volume 2, p. 337,[3]
      This business staid me in London almost a week []
    • 1690, John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, London: Thomas Basset, Book 3, Chapter 5, p. 207,[4]
      [] I was willing to stay my Reader on an Argument, that appears to me new []
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, Book 1, Chapter 6,[5]
      The task of recalling him from the vagrancy into which he always sank when he had spoken, was like recalling some very weak person from a swoon, or endeavouring, in the hope of some disclosure, to stay the spirit of a fast-dying man.
    • 1925, Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1985, p. 44,[6]
      [] she filled the room she entered, and felt often as she stood hesitating one moment on the threshold of her drawing-room, an exquisite suspense, such as might stay a diver before plunging while the sea darkens and brightens beneath him []
    • 2010, Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question, New York: Bloomsbury, Chapter 9,
      She rose to leave but Libor stayed her.
  4. (transitive) To restrain; withhold; check; stop.
    • 1597, Richard Hooker, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, Book 5, in The Works of Mr. Richard Hooker, London: Andrew Crook, 1666, p. ,[7]
      [] all that may but with any the least shew of possibility stay their mindes from thinking that true, which they heartily wish were false, but cannot think it so []
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], OCLC 964384981, 1 Samuel 24:7:
      So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul.
    • 1852, Charlotte Brontë, letter cited in Elizabeth Gaskell, The Life of Charlotte Brontë, 1857, Volume 2, Chapter 10,[8]
      [] you must follow the impulse of your own inspiration. If THAT commands the slaying of the victim, no bystander has a right to put out his hand to stay the sacrificial knife: but I hold you a stern priestess in these matters.
  5. (transitive) To cause to cease; to put an end to.
  6. (transitive) To put off; defer; postpone; delay; keep back.
    The governor stayed the execution until the appeal could be heard.
    • 1935, Pearl S. Buck, A House Divided, London: Methuen, Part 1, p. 137,[10]
      Without one word to deny himself, Yuan let himself be bound, his hands behind his back, and no one could stay the matter.
    • 2001, Richard Flanagan, Gould’s Book of Fish, New York: Grove, “The Leatherjacket,” pp. 187-188,[11]
      As I curled up like a dying fish beneath his flailing boots, I managed to stay his assault long enough to tell him that I had only ever seen myself as his most loyal servant []
  7. (transitive) To hold the attention of. (The addition of quotations indicative of this usage is being sought:)
  8. (transitive, obsolete) To bear up under; to endure; to hold out against; to resist.
  9. (transitive, obsolete) To wait for; await.
  10. (transitive, obsolete) To remain for the purpose of; to stay to take part in or be present at (a meal, ceremony etc.).
  11. (intransitive, obsolete) To rest; depend; rely.
  12. (intransitive, obsolete) To stop; come to a stand or standstill.
  13. (intransitive, archaic) To come to an end; cease.
    That day the storm stayed.
  14. (intransitive, archaic) To dwell; linger; tarry; wait.
    • 1700 John Dryden, Fables Ancient and Modern, London: Jacob Tonson, dedicatory epistle,[12]
      Yet not to be wholly silent of all your Charities I must stay a little on one Action, which preferr’d the Relief of Others, to the Consideration of your Self.
  15. (intransitive, dated) To make a stand; to stand firm.
  16. (intransitive) To hold out, as in a race or contest; last or persevere to the end; to show staying power.
    That horse stays well.
  17. (intransitive) To remain in a particular place, especially for a definite or short period of time; sojourn; abide.
    We stayed in Hawaii for a week.  I can only stay for an hour.
  18. (intransitive, obsolete) To wait; rest in patience or expectation.
  19. (intransitive, obsolete, used with on or upon) To wait as an attendant; give ceremonious or submissive attendance.
  20. (intransitive, copulative) To continue to have a particular quality.
    Wear gloves so your hands stay warm.
    • 1700, John Dryden (translator), Fables Ancient and Modern, “MELEAGER AND ATALANTA, Out of the Eighth Book OF OVIDS Metamorphosis,” p. 118,[14]
      For as the Flames augment, and as they stay / At their full Height, then languish to decay, / They rise, and sink by Fits []
    • 1868, Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Part 2, Chapter 30,[15]
      The evergreen arch wouldn’t stay firm after she got it up, but wiggled and threatened to tumble down on her head when the hanging baskets were filled.
    • 1943, Graham Greene, The Ministry of Fear, London: Heinemann, 1960, Book 3, Chapter 2, p. 210,[16]
      The three men in the room stayed motionless, holding their breaths.
    • 2013 June 21, Oliver Burkeman, “The tao of tech”, in 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.
  21. (intransitive, Scotland, South Africa, India, Southern US, African-American Vernacular, colloquial) To live; reside
    Hey, where do you stay at?
Synonyms[edit]
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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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See also[edit]

Noun[edit]

stay (plural stays)

  1. Continuance or a period of time spent in a place; abode for an indefinite time.
    Synonym: sojourn
    I hope you enjoyed your stay in Hawaii.
  2. (law) A postponement, especially of an execution or other punishment.
    The governor granted a stay of execution.
    • 1980 June 25, “A.C.L.U. Seeks to Stay Execution of Georgian”, in The New York Times[17], ISSN 0362-4331:
      Later that day, however, Judge O'Kelley signed a stay of execution when Mr. Potts authorized other attorneys to renew his appeals.
    • 2014 January 21, Matthew Goldstein, “Apple Wins Temporary Stay on Court Monitor”, in New York Times[18]:
      An appellate judge temporarily stayed the monitor’s work until a three-judge federal appeals panel can decide whether the stay should be kept in place longer while Apple undertakes a full challenge to the appointment of a monitor.
  3. (archaic) A stop; a halt; a break or cessation of action, motion, or progress.
    stand at a stay
  4. A fixed state; fixedness; stability; permanence.
  5. (nautical) A station or fixed anchorage for vessels.
  6. Restraint of passion; prudence; moderation; caution; steadiness; sobriety.
  7. (obsolete) Hindrance; let; check.
Translations[edit]
Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

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

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English stay, 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 *steh₂- (to stand). See above.

Noun[edit]

stay (plural stays)

  1. A prop; a support.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 9”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      My onely strength and stay.
    • 1705, J[oseph] Addison, Remarks on Several Parts of Italy, &c. in the Years 1701, 1702, 1703, London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 1051505315:
      The trees themselves serve, at the same time, as so many stays for their Vines
    • April 27, 1823, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Table Talk
      Lord Liverpool is the single stay of this ministry.
    • 1831, Peter Leicester, Arthur of Britanny, page 18:
      Even when the deceptive mask was torn away, and the broken-hearted parent, beholding the accursed fact, that his darling son, the fancied stay of his declining age, was enlisted against him in his brother's horrible revolt, cursed them both and died, not even then did one compunctuous visiting touch his callous heart.
  2. A piece of stiff material, such as plastic or whalebone, used to stiffen a piece of clothing.
    Where are the stays for my collar?
  3. (in the plural) A corset.
    • 1859, Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White:
      Her figure was tall, yet not too tall; comely and well-developed, yet not fat; her head set on her shoulders with an easy, pliant firmness; her waist, perfection in the eyes of a man, for it occupied its natural place, it filled out its natural circle, it was visibly and delightfully undeformed by stays.
    • 1718, Mat[thew] Prior, “Alma: Or, The Progress of the Mind”, in Poems on Several Occasions, London: [] Jacob Tonson [], and John Barber [], OCLC 5634253:
      When Jenny's stays are newly laced.
  4. (archaic) A fastening for a garment; a hook; a clasp; anything to hang another thing on.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[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 *steh₂- (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 or wire 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. The transverse piece in a chain-cable link.
Synonyms[edit]
Hyponyms[edit]
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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Esperanto Plena Vortaro http://vortaro.net/#stajo

Verb[edit]

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

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

Etymology 4[edit]

From Middle English *steȝe, from Old English *stǣġe, an apocopated variant of 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. (UK dialectal) Steep; ascending.
    • 1908, Publications of the Scottish History Society - Volume 53 - Page 121:
      The Castle of Edr. is naturally a great strenth situate upon the top of a high Rock perpendicular on all sides, except on the entry from the burgh, which is a stay ascent and is well fortified with strong Walls, three gates each one within another, with Drawbridges, and all necessary fortifications.
  2. (UK dialectal) (of a roof) Steeply pitched.
  3. (UK dialectal) Difficult to negotiate; not easy to access; sheer.
  4. (UK dialectal) Stiff; upright; unbending; reserved; haughty; proud.

Adverb[edit]

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

  1. (UK dialectal) Steeply.

Further reading[edit]

  • stay at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • stay” in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.

Anagrams[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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).

Noun[edit]

stay (plural stayes)

  1. (nautical) A stay (rope).

Declension[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Scots: stay
  • English: stay