from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Plural form of stay.
  • noun plurale tantum A corset.
  • verb Third-person singular simple present indicative form of stay.

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

  • noun a woman's close-fitting foundation garment


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Also "pair of stays." In the plural, a laced underbodice, stiffened by the insertion of strips of whale-bone, metal, or wood, worn by women (sometimes by men) to give shape and support to the figure. The use of the plural is due to the fact that stays were originally made in two pieces laced together. Like a corset, but not quite the same (esp. as worn in the eighteenth century).

    February 13, 2007

  • I'd like to know WHY the word "stays" began to be used in the 18th century. I've read "stays" were also ropes (and metal supports?) on a ship to help tie things things STAY put. Because "stays" is used in a time when whaling was an integral process in the garments' production, is it possible there's a connection? Yes, a different garment from a corset (highly stiffened) and a "pair of bodys," worn primarily on the outside...but why the word "stays?"

    December 27, 2012