From Middle English steward, from Old English stīweard, stīġweard (“steward, housekeeper, one who has the superintendence of household affairs, guardian”), from stīġ in the sense house, hall + weard (“ward, guard, guardian, keeper”). Compare Icelandic stívarður (“steward”). More at sty, ward.
- A person who manages the property or affairs for another entity, particularly (historical) the chief administrator of a medieval manor.
- A ship's officer who is in charge of making dining arrangements and provisions.
1915, George A. Birmingham, “chapter I”, in Gossamer (Project Gutenberg; EBook #24394), London: Methuen & Co., published 8 January 2013 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 558189256:
- There is an hour or two, after the passengers have embarked, which is disquieting and fussy. Mail bags, so I understand, are being put on board. Stewards, carrying cabin trunks, swarm in the corridors. Passengers wander restlessly about or hurry, with futile energy, from place to place.
- A flight attendant, (chiefly) a male flight attendant.
- A union member who is selected as a representative for fellow workers in negotiating terms with management.
- A person who has charge of buildings and/or grounds and/or animals.
- A fiscal agent of certain bodies.
- a steward in a Methodist church
- In some colleges, an officer who provides food for the students and superintends the kitchen; also, an officer who attends to the accounts of the students.
- In Scotland, a magistrate appointed by the crown to exercise jurisdiction over royal lands.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Erskine to this entry?)
- In information technology, somebody who is responsible for managing a set of projects, products or technologies and how they affect the IT organization to which they belong.
With regard to airlines, steward is usually distinguished from the more common and exclusively feminine stewardess in colloquial speech, while the gender-neutral flight attendant is usually preferred to both in formal contexts. For the sake of brevity, steward is sometimes treated as a gender-neutral term itself and applied to both male and female flight attendants.
- (medieval overseer): bailiff, provost
- (member of a flight crew): air steward, airline steward; see also flight attendant
- (union member): shop steward
- (person in charge of buildings, grounds, etc.): caretaker, custodian, keeper; groundskeeper (of estates)
- (member of a flight crew) See flight attendant
- To act as the steward or caretaker of (something)
2007 May 1, Richard G. Jones, “An Acting Governor’s Balancing Act: Taking the Lead Without Stepping on Toes”, in New York Times:
- Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski, a Democrat from Middlesex County, said, “It’s an uncomfortable situation,” but added that Mr. Codey is nevertheless “ably stewarding the state.”
steward m (plural stewards)