Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To brace, support, or prop up.
  • noun A support or brace.
  • noun A strip of bone, plastic, or metal, used to stiffen a garment or part, such as a corset or shirt collar.
  • noun A corset.
  • noun Nautical A heavy rope or cable, usually of wire, used as a brace or support for a mast or spar.
  • noun A rope used to steady, guide, or brace.
  • transitive & intransitive verb To put (a ship) on the opposite tack or to come about.
  • intransitive verb To continue to be in a place or condition.
  • intransitive verb To remain or sojourn as a guest or lodger.
  • intransitive verb To linger or wait in order to do or experience something.
  • intransitive verb To continue or persist in an action or activity.
  • intransitive verb To keep up in a race or contest.
  • intransitive verb Games To meet a bet in poker without raising it.
  • intransitive verb Archaic To stop moving or stop doing something.
  • intransitive verb To remain during.
  • intransitive verb To stop or restrain; check.
  • intransitive verb To suspend by legal order the implementation of (a planned action), especially pending further proceedings.
  • intransitive verb To satisfy or appease temporarily.
  • intransitive verb Archaic To wait for; await.
  • noun A brief period of residence or visiting.
  • noun The order by which a planned action is stayed.
  • noun The consequence of such an order.
  • noun The act of halting; check.
  • noun The act of coming to a halt.
  • idiom (stay put) To remain in a fixed or established position.
  • idiom (stay the course) To hold out or persevere to the end of a race or challenge.
  • idiom (stay with (one)) To remain in one's memory; not be forgotten.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A prop; a support.
  • noun Specifically— In building, a piece performing the office of a brace, to prevent the swerving or lateral deviation of the piece to which it is applied.
  • noun In steam-engines: A rod, bar. bolt, or gusset in a boiler, to hold two parts together against the pressure of steam: as, a tube-stay; a water-space stay.
  • noun One of the sling-rods connecting a locomotive-boiler to its frame.
  • noun A rod, beneath the boiler, supporting the inside bearings of the crank-axle of a locomotive.
  • noun In mining, a piece of wood used to secure the pump to an engine-shaft.
  • noun In some hollow-castings, a spindle which forms a support for the core.
  • noun In anatomy and zoology, technically, a prop or support: as, the bony stay of the operculum of a mail-cheeked fish, or cottoid. This is an enlarged suborbital bone which crosses the cheek and articulates with the præoperculum in the mail-cheeked fishes. See Cottoidea, Scleropariæ.
  • noun plural A kind of waistcoat, stiffened with whalebone or other material, now worn chiefly by women and girls to support and give shape to the body, but formerly worn also by men.
  • noun A fastening for a garment; hence, a hook; a clasp; anything to hang another thing on.
  • noun That which holds or restrains; obstacle; check; hindrance; restraint.
  • noun A stop; a halt; a break or cessation of action, motion, or progression: as, the court granted a stay.
  • noun A standstill; a state of rest; entire cessation of motion or progress: used chiefly in the phrase at a stay.
  • noun A fixed state; fixedness; stability; permanence.
  • noun Continuance in a place; abode for an indefinite time; sojourn: as, you make a short stay in the city.
  • noun A station or fixed anchorage for vessels.
  • noun State; fixed condition.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English staien, from Old French estaiier, from estaie, a support, of Germanic origin.]

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

[Middle English, from Old English stæg.]

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

[Middle English steien, from Old French ester, esteir, from Latin stāre; see stā- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English *stay, from Old English stæġ ("stay, a rope supporting a mast"), from Proto-Germanic *stagan (“stay, rope”), from Proto-Indo-European *stek-, *stāk- (“stand, pole”), from Proto-Indo-European *stā- (“to stand”). Cognate with Dutch stag ("stay"), German Stag ("stay"), Swedish stag ("stay"), Icelandic stag ("stay").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English *staye, from Old French estaye, estaie ("a prop, a stay"), from Middle Dutch staeye ("a prop, stay"), a contracted form of staede, stade ("a prop, stay, help, aid"; compare Middle Dutch staeyen, staeden ("to make firm, stay, support, hold still, stabilise")), from Old Dutch *stad (“a site, place, location, standing”), from Proto-Germanic *stadiz (“a standing, place”), from Proto-Indo-European *stā- (“to stand”). See above.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English *steȝe, from Old English *stǣġe, an apocopated variant of Old English stǣġel ("steep, abrupt"), from Proto-Germanic *staigilaz (“climbing, ascending, sloping, steep”), see sty.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English steyen, staien, from Old French estayer, estaier ("to fix, prop up, support, stay"), from estaye, estaie ("a prop, a stay"), from Middle Dutch staeye ("a prop, stay"), a contracted form of staede, stade ("a prop, stay, help, aid"; compare Middle Dutch staeyen, staeden ("to make firm, stay, support, hold still, stabilise")), from Old Dutch *stad (“a site, place, location, standing”), from Proto-Germanic *stadiz (“a standing, place”), from Proto-Indo-European *stā- (“to stand”). Influenced by Old English stæġ ("a stay, rope"; see above). Cognate with Old English stede, stæde ("a place, spot, locality, fixed position, station, site, standing, status, position of a moving body, stopping, standing still, stability, fixity, firmness, steadfastness"), Swedish stödja ("to prop, support, brace, hold up, bolster"), Icelandic stöðug ("continuous, stable"). More at stead, steady.

Examples

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  • someone forgot "assuage (hunger) for a short time".

    November 26, 2008