From Spanish estibador (cognate with Portuguese estivador), a form of estibar (“to load”), from Latin stīpāre (compare Italian stipare), the present active infinitive of stīpō (“stuff”), from Proto-Indo-European *steypos, from the root Proto-Indo-European *steyp-. It is cognate with stiff through Proto-Indo-European.
The word was attested in 1788 in the early form stowadore, and was included in the 1828 edition of Webster’s Dictionary as stevedore.
stevedore (plural stevedores)
- A dockworker involved in loading and unloading cargo.
dockworker involved in loading and unloading cargo
stevedore (third-person singular simple present stevedores, present participle stevedoring, simple past and past participle stevedored)
- (transitive) To load or unload a ship's cargo.
- ^ “stevedore” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
- ^ “stiff” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
- ^ OED references Massachusetts Spy of 1788, July 2/3
- ^ “Stevedore, one whose occupation is to stow goods, packages, &c. in a ship's hold.”