Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A narrow strip of wood forming part of the sides of a barrel, tub, or similar structure.
  • n. A rung of a ladder or chair.
  • n. A staff or cudgel.
  • n. Music See staff1.
  • n. A set of verses; a stanza.
  • transitive v. To break in or puncture the staves of.
  • transitive v. To break or smash a hole in.
  • transitive v. To crush or smash inward.
  • transitive v. To furnish with staves.
  • intransitive v. To be or become crushed in.
  • stave off To keep or hold off; repel: "For 12 years, we've sought to stave off this ultimate threat of disaster” ( New York Times).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One of a number of narrow strips of wood, or narrow iron plates, placed edge to edge to form the sides, covering, or lining of a vessel or structure; esp., one of the strips which form the sides of a cask, a pail, etc.
  • n. One of the bars or rounds of a rack, rungs of a ladder, etc; one of the cylindrical bars of a lantern wheel
  • n. A metrical portion; a stanza; a staff.
  • n. The five horizontal and parallel lines on and between which musical notes are written or pointed; the staff.
  • n. A staff or walking stick
  • v. To break in the staves of; to break a hole in; to burst. Often with in.
  • v. To push, as with a staff. With off.
  • v. To delay by force; to drive away. Often with off.
  • v. To burst in pieces by striking against something.
  • v. To walk or move rapidly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of a number of narrow strips of wood, or narrow iron plates, placed edge to edge to form the sides, covering, or lining of a vessel or structure; esp., one of the strips which form the sides of a cask, a pail, etc.
  • n. One of the cylindrical bars of a lantern wheel; one of the bars or rounds of a rack, a ladder, etc.
  • n. A metrical portion; a stanza; a staff.
  • n. The five horizontal and parallel lines on and between which musical notes are written or printed; the staff{7}.
  • transitive v. To break in a stave or the staves of; to break a hole in; to burst; -- often with in
  • transitive v. To push, as with a staff; -- with off.
  • transitive v. To delay by force or craft; to drive away; -- usually with off.
  • transitive v. To suffer, or cause, to be lost by breaking the cask.
  • transitive v. To furnish with staves or rundles.
  • transitive v. To render impervious or solid by driving with a calking iron.
  • intransitive v. To burst in pieces by striking against something; to dash into fragments.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A pole or piece of wood of some length; a Staff.
  • n. A stanza; a verse; a metrical division.
  • n. Specifically, same as staff, 9.
  • To break in a stave or staves of; knock a hole in; break; burst: as, the boat is stove.
  • To cause or suffer to be lost by breaking the cask; hence, to spill; pour out.
  • To furnish with staves or rundles.
  • To make firm by compression; shorten or compact, as a heated rod or bar by endwise blows, or as lead in the socket-joints of pipes.
  • To go or rush along recklessly or regardless of everything, as one in a rage; work energetically; drive.
  • n. The porter-bar used to start and hold massive forgings which are undergoing treatment in a furnace or under a hammer or press. The part to be made is welded to the stave or porter-bar, and when completed the latter is cut off.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. burst or force (a hole) into something
  • n. a crosspiece between the legs of a chair
  • n. one of several thin slats of wood forming the sides of a barrel or bucket
  • v. furnish with staves
  • n. (music) the system of five horizontal lines on which the musical notes are written

Etymologies

Back-formation from staves, pl. of staff1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Back-formation from staves, the plural of staff. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Their poems were graven upon small staves or rods, one line upon each face of the rod; and the Old English word "stave," as applied to a stanza, is probably a relic of the practice, which, in the early ages, prevailed in the West.

    Forty Centuries of Ink

  • They've got to get a proposal together with, like, sheet music and all, and with the music constructed in GarageBand by yours truly, who barely knows a stave from a semi-quaver, getting that together is ... a challenge, as they say.

    Archive 2009-09-01

  • If you're buying a stave from a dealer, you'll save on drying time (4-6 weeks if cutting your own).

    Make a Homemade (and Deadly) Bow in Five Easy Steps

  • He was singing a stave from the "Enniskillen Dragoon" when I came up with him

    Roughing It in the Bush

  • Origin: A stave is a stick of wood, from the plural of staff, staves.

    Origin of Familiar Phrases

  • Each chapter is called a stave, or stanza of the carol.

    Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Literature

  • So I would start interspersing other books in between the chapters to kind of stave off that terrible moment when the book ended.

    The Joys Of Reading Many Books At Once

  • The inner form has one wedge-shaped loose stave which is withdrawn after the concrete has set for about 20 hours, thus collapsing the inner form and allowing it to be removed.

    Concrete Construction Methods and Costs

  • If I never leave you biddies till my stave is a bar I’d be tempted rigidly to become a passionate father.

    Finnegans Wake

  • 8. Music is written on a set of horizontal lines called a "stave " or "staff".

    January 2009

Comments

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  • Penny Arcade (9/17/03):

    "The judge says we can't use swords, magic, or items in this battle. He recommended staves instead. I don't know what those are."

    December 3, 2007