Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


adjective stal·wart \ˈstȯl-wərt\

Simple Definition of stalwart

  • : very loyal and dedicated

  • : physically strong

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of stalwart

  1. :  marked by outstanding strength and vigor of body, mind, or spirit <stalwart common sense>

stalwartly adverb
stalwartness noun

Examples of stalwart in a sentence

  1. their strong and stalwart son

  2. <the stalwart soldiers in the army of Alexander the Great, who willingly followed him to the ends of the known world>

Did You Know?

Sometime in the 15th century, English speakers began to use stalwart in place of the older form stalworth. Although stalworth is now archaic, it laid the groundwork for today's meaning of stalwart. In the 12th century, stalworth began to be used to describe strongly built people or animals (a meaning stalwart took on about two centuries later). It also came to be used as an adjective for people who showed bravery or courage (likewise a meaning passed on to stalwart). So, in a way, stalwart has been serviceable in keeping the spirit of stalworth alive. This character of stalwart is true to its roots. Stalworth came from the Old English word stælwierthe (meaning "serviceable"), which, in turn, is thought to come from terms meaning "foundation" and "worth."

Origin of stalwart

Middle English, alteration of stalworth, from Old English stǣlwierthe serviceable

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of stalwart

strong, stout, sturdy, stalwart, tough, tenacious mean showing power to resist or to endure. strong may imply power derived from muscular vigor, large size, structural soundness, intellectual or spiritual resources <strong arms> <the defense has a strong case>. stout suggests an ability to endure stress, pain, or hard use without giving way <stout hiking boots>. sturdy implies strength derived from vigorous growth, determination of spirit, solidity of construction <a sturdy table> <people of sturdy independence>. stalwart suggests an unshakable dependability <stalwart environmentalists>. tough implies great firmness and resiliency <a tough political opponent>. tenacious suggests strength in seizing, retaining, clinging to, or holding together <tenacious farmers clinging to an age-old way of life>.



noun stal·wart

Simple Definition of stalwart

  • : a loyal supporter

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of stalwart

  1. 1 :  a stalwart person

  2. 2 :  an unwavering partisan

15th Century

First Known Use of stalwart

15th century

STALWART Defined for Kids


adjective stal·wart \ˈstȯl-wərt\

Definition of stalwart for Students

  1. :  sturdy 1, resolute <a stalwart body> <stalwart spirits>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up stalwart? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tending to dismiss important matters

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

reduce soothe perplex disapprove
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.