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See also: stëll and Stell


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English stellen, from Old English stellan (to give a place to, set, place), from Proto-Germanic *stallijaną (to put, position), from Proto-Indo-European *stel- (to place, put, post, stand). Cognate with Dutch stellen (to set, put), Low German stellen (to put, place, fix), German stellen (to set, place, provide), Old English steall (position, place). More at stall.


stell (third-person singular simple present stells, present participle stelling, simple past and past participle stelled or stold)

  1. (transitive, Britain dialectal, Scotland) To place in position; set up, fix, plant; prop, mount.
  2. (transitive, dialectal or obsolete) To portray; delineate; display.
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece, 1443–44:
      To this well-painted piece is Lucrece come,
      To find a face where all distress is stelled.
    • 1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet 24:
      Mine eye hath play'd the painter and hath stell'd
      Thy beauty's form in table of my heart ...

Etymology 2[edit]

Alteration of stall, after the verb to stell.


stell (plural stells)

  1. (archaic) A place; station.
  2. A stall; a fold for cattle.
  3. (Scotland) A prop; a support, as for the feet in standing or climbing.
  4. (Scotland) A still.
    • 1786, Robert Burns, "The Author's Earnest Cry And Prayer":
      Paint Scotland greetin owre her thrissle;
      Her mutchkin stowp as toom's a whissle;
      An' damn'd excisemen in a bussle,
      Seizin a stell,
      Triumphant crushin't like a mussel,
      Or limpet shell!
    • 1791, Robert Burns, "Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation":
      The English stell we could disdain,
      Secure in valour's station;
      But English gold has been our bane-
      Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!
Related terms[edit]





  1. Imperative singular of stellen.