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Etymology 1[edit]

Old English styntan (make blunt), probably influenced in some senses by cognate Old Norse *stynta.


stint (plural stints)

  1. A period of time spent doing or being something. A spell.
    He had a stint in jail.
    • 2012 May 13, Andrew Benson, “Williams's Pastor Maldonado takes landmark Spanish Grand Prix win”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      That left Maldonado with a 6.2-second lead. Alonso closed in throughout their third stints, getting the gap down to 4.2secs before Maldonado stopped for the final time on lap 41.
  2. limit; bound; restraint; extent
    • South
      God has wrote upon no created thing the utmost stint of his power.
  3. Quantity or task assigned; proportion allotted.
    • Cowper
      His old stint — three thousand pounds a year.


stint (third-person singular simple present stints, present participle stinting, simple past and past participle stinted)

  1. (archaic, intransitive) To stop (an action); cease, desist.
    • 1460-1500, The Towneley Playsː
      We maun have pain that never shall stint.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.iii:
      O do thy cruell wrath and spightfull wrong / At length allay, and stint thy stormy strife []
    • (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare
      And stint thou too, I pray thee.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Sir Walter Scott
      The damsel stinted in her song.
  2. (obsolete, intransitive) To stop speaking or talking (of a subject).
  3. (intransitive) To be sparing or mean.
    The next party you throw, don't stint on the beer.
  4. (transitive) To restrain within certain limits; to bound; to restrict to a scant allowance.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Woodward
      I shall not go about to extenuate the latitude of the curse upon the earth, or stint it only to the production of weeds.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Law
      She stints them in their meals.
  5. To assign a certain task to (a person), upon the performance of which he/she is excused from further labour for that day or period; to stent.
  6. To impregnate successfully; to get with foal; said of mares.
    • (Can we date this quote?) J. H. Walsh
      The majority of maiden mares will become stinted while at work.

Etymology 2[edit]

Origin unknown.


stint (plural stints)

  1. Any of several very small wading birds in the genus Calidris. Types of sandpiper, such as the dunlin or the sanderling.

Etymology 3[edit]


stint (plural stints)

  1. Misspelling of stent (medical device).