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

  • noun One who manages another's property, finances, or other affairs.
  • noun One who is in charge of the household affairs of a large estate, club, hotel, or resort.
  • noun A ship's officer who is in charge of provisions and dining arrangements.
  • noun An attendant on a ship or airplane.
  • noun An official who supervises or helps to manage an event.
  • noun A shop steward.
  • noun A wine steward.
  • intransitive & transitive verb To serve as a steward or as the steward of.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To manage as a steward.
  • noun One who has charge of the household or estate of another; a majordomo; especially, a person employed in a court, household, or important domestic establishment of any kind to superintend financial affairs, as by keeping accounts, collecting rents or other revenue, or disbursing money for household expenses.
  • noun An officer or retainer appointed to perform duties similar to those mentioned above; especially, a person appointed to provide and distribute food and all the requisites of the table; a purveyor.
  • noun Figuratively, a manager; especially, one who controls expenditure; a disburser.
  • noun Formerly, in the English gilds, one of the officers in charge of the finances of the society; also, a corresponding functionary in municipal affairs.
  • noun In the early church, same as econome or æconomus.
  • noun A fiscal agent of certain bodies; specifically, in the Methodist Church, an officer having charge of the finances and certain other material interests of the church.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To manage as a steward.
  • noun A man employed in a large family, or on a large estate, to manage the domestic concerns, supervise other servants, collect the rents or income, keep accounts, and the like.
  • noun A person employed in a hotel, or a club, or on board a ship, to provide for the table, superintend the culinary affairs, etc. In naval vessels, the captain's steward, wardroom steward, steerage steward, warrant officers steward, etc., are petty officers who provide for the messes under their charge.
  • noun A fiscal agent of certain bodies.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In Scotland, a magistrate appointed by the crown to exercise jurisdiction over royal lands.
  • noun [Eng.] formerly, the first officer of the crown; afterward, an officer occasionally appointed, as for a coronation, or upon the trial of a peer.

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

  • noun A person who manages the property or affairs for another entity.
  • noun A ship's officer who is in charge of making dining arrangements and provisions.
  • noun A flight attendant, especially but not exclusively a male flight attendant. Often as "air steward", "airline steward", etc.
  • noun In IT, somebody who is responsible for managing a set of projects, products or technologies and how they affect the IT organization to which they belong.
  • verb To act as the steward or caretaker of (something)

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

  • noun an attendant on an airplane
  • noun a union member who is elected to represent fellow workers in negotiating with management
  • noun someone who manages property or other affairs for someone else
  • noun the ship's officer who is in charge of provisions and dining arrangements
  • noun one having charge of buildings or grounds or animals


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

[Middle English, from Old English stigweard, stīward : stig, stī, hall + weard, keeper; see wer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, 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.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word steward.


  • The word steward comes from the ancient biblical word "sty word" which meant keeper of the barnyard.

    The Federal Budget 1996

  • Search crews have recovered the bodies of the flight captain and a steward from the Air France flight that crashed off the coast of Brazil.

    POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: June 26, 2009 2009

  • A steward is respectful of his charge and does not abuse it or use it wastefully.

    Democrats declare war on West Virginia. Again. - Moe_Lane’s blog - RedState 2009

  • While you're at dinner, your cabin steward will prep your stateroom for your slumber, turning down your sheets and leaving a chocolate for you.

    April 9th, 2007 ceciliatan 2007

  • The steward is almost smiling: just take the money, and do not bring your favorite car to school.

    Archive 2007-10-01 2007

  • The steward is almost smiling: just take the money, and do not bring your favorite car to school.

    Your local High School, part 7 2007

  • The ship was the RMS Rangitata and the Edens 'cabin steward was John Prescott, who sometimes fought on-deck boxing matches for the entertainment of the passengers, sometimes won them, and sometimes was presented with his prize (beer or wine) by the ex-prime minister or his wife.

    Prescott after a resignation 2006

  • They were looked after by their cabin steward, who also fought on-deck boxing matches to entertain passengers.

    The occasional horse’s head in the marital bed 2006

  • A steward is a person entrusted with the care and use of something that does not belong to him or her.

    Faith and Citizenship 2004

  • The peasants whose cottages were burnt came round him wailing; he promised to help them and gave orders, and then he called his steward again and took it back.

    A Raw Youth 2003


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.