1

stalwart

adjective stal·wart \ ˈstȯl-wərt \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of stalwart

: marked by outstanding strength and vigor of body, mind, or spirit
  • stalwart common sense

stalwartly

adverb

stalwartness

noun

stalwart was our Word of the Day on 06/02/2015. Hear the podcast!

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

Recent Examples of stalwart from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stalwart.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 and Etymology of stalwart

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

stalwart Synonyms

Synonyms
bold, courageous, dauntless, doughty, fearless, gallant, greathearted, gutsy, gutty, heroic (also heroical), intrepid, lionhearted, manful, brave, stout, stouthearted, undauntable, undaunted, valiant, valorous
Antonyms
chicken, chickenhearted, chicken-livered, coward, cowardly, craven, dastardly, fainthearted, fearful, gutless, lily-livered, milk-livered [archaic], nerveless, poltroon, poor-spirited, pusillanimous, spineless, spiritless, timorous, uncourageous, ungallant, unheroic, weakhearted, yellow
Related Words
determined, firm, game, gamy (or gamey), gritty, plucky, resolute, Spartan, undeterred, undismayed, unflinching, unswerving; mettlesome, spirited, spunky; adventuresome, adventurous, audacious, daring, dashing, hardy, venturesome, venturous; crazy, foolish, half-witted, insane, lunatic, mad, nutty; brash, brazen, daredevil, foolhardy, heedless, hotheaded, impetuous, imprudent, impulsive, incautious, madcap, overbold, overconfident, rash, reckless, thoughtless, wild; hasty, headlong, precipitate; comforted, emboldened, encouraged, heartened, reassured, unafraid
Near Antonyms
diffident, mousy (or mousey), scary, shy, skittish, timid; anxious, apprehensive, nervous; careful, cautious, heedful, prudent, unadventurous; afraid, agitated, disconcerted, disquieted, disturbed, frightened, horrified, panicked, panic-stricken, perturbed, scared, shocked, spooked, startled, terrified, terrorized, unnerved, upset; appalled, concerned, dismayed, worried; unmanly, weak, wimpy

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

2

stalwart

noun

Definition of stalwart

1 : a stalwart person
2 : an unwavering partisan

Recent Examples of stalwart from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stalwart.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of stalwart

15th century


STALWART Defined for English Language Learners

stalwart

adjective

Definition of stalwart for English Language Learners

  • : very loyal and dedicated

  • : physically strong


stalwart

noun

Definition of stalwart for English Language Learners

  • : a loyal supporter


STALWART Defined for Kids

stalwart

adjective stal·wart \ ˈstȯl-wərt \

Definition of stalwart for Students

: 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).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

food, provisions, or a tasty dish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!