stal·wart | \ˈstȯl-wərt \

Definition of stalwart 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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



Definition of stalwart (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a stalwart person

2 : an unwavering partisan

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Other Words from stalwart


stalwartly adverb
stalwartness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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."

Examples of stalwart in a Sentence


their strong and stalwart son the stalwart soldiers in the army of Alexander the Great, who willingly followed him to the ends of the known world

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

For Trump, there has been no such tension with Churchill, who is revered by American conservatives for his stalwart leadership of Great Britain during World War II and his role in defeating the Nazis. Washington Post, "Trump attending dinner at birthplace of Winston Churchill," 12 July 2018 Going with Rolls rather than Caddy is part of the movie’s stalwart strangeness. Mark Feeney,, "‘The King’ takes Elvis’s Rolls-Royce for a ride," 11 July 2018 According to a memo leaked to the The Wall Street Journal, the ACLU has begun shifting its stalwart stance on the First Amendment, in recognition of the surge of hate speech that has accompanied the president’s rise to power. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "In Trump’s America, the ACLU takes a new approach to free speech.," 23 June 2018 One way of achieving this delicate balance is to anchor your look with stalwart pieces like an oversized sofa in a luxe, buttery leather that serve as a base off of which your accents will really pop. Lauren Hubbard, ELLE Decor, "How to Master a Modern Italian Look at Home," 28 June 2018 Unions have remained stalwart backers of Democratic politicians, even as many of their white, working-class members gravitated in the last election to the populist message of President Donald Trump. Kris Maher, WSJ, "Public-Sector Unions Brace for Fallout From Supreme Court Decision on Fees," 27 June 2018 The stalwart California punk group Social Distortion tops Saturday’s bill. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "KC concerts June 28-July 4: Middle of the Map, Flaming Lips, Nelly, Whiskey Myers," 26 June 2018 The inter-fandom lovefest that followed saw the hashtag trend for several hours as the Hive got to know more about the rising boy band and BTS’ stalwart fans got to enjoy Bey's music. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "BTS' Army and Beyonce's Beyhive Teamed Up on Twitter For a Major Streaming Party," 20 June 2018 Such bad optics in fact that Trump's been condemned by usually stalwart supporters like the Southern Baptist Convention and evangelist Franklin Graham. Luke Darby, GQ, "Trump Thinks Thousands of Detained, Traumatized Immigrant Kids Are a Great Bargaining Chip," 16 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Trump's nominates a conservative stalwart to the high court: Trump on Monday night named Brett M. Kavanaugh, 53, a federal appellate judge with conservative bona fides as his second nominee to the Supreme Court. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: The EPA won't change policy after Pruitt. But it might be more transparent about it.," 10 July 2018 The food emporium now feeds the noshing masses at nearly three dozen dining spots, including A-list restaurants (Morimoto, Buddakan) and New York stalwarts (Sarabeth's Bakery, Amy's Bread, Li-Lac Chocolates). Andrea Sachs,, "Take a walk on New York's High Line from end-to-end," 2 July 2018 Notably, Senator Gillibrand had backed Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s opponent, the Democratic stalwart Joseph Crowley, in the primary. New York Times, "How ‘Abolish ICE’ Went From Social Media to Progressive Candidates’ Rallying Cry," 29 June 2018 Ten years ago the five largest spenders were old-economy stalwarts: AT&T, Chevron, ExxonMobil, General Electric and Verizon (see chart 3). The Economist, "Business in the Republicans’ America is flourishing, but also changing," 24 May 2018 Should President Trump and Senate Republicans succeed in replacing the swing-vote jurist with a stalwart conservative, the ideological shift could bring seismic changes to federal environmental policy. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Kennedy's retirement could bring a seismic shift to environmental law," 28 June 2018 But Atlanta’s bet on Young is not, contrary to popular belief, some attempt to create a knockoff Eastern Conference version of the Golden State Warriors, where Schlenk was a front office stalwart until coming to Atlanta last year. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Why Atlanta is betting on stardom for new point guard Trae Young," 26 June 2018 Hughes and Allen Swanson, who's ranked second at 160, have been stalwarts in Oswego's lineup for four years. Paul Johnson, Aurora Beacon-News, "Oswego's Gannon Hughes gearing up for another postseason push in wrestling," 15 Jan. 2018 That body of writing persuaded Trump and his conservative advisers that Kavanaugh would remain a stalwart originalist on the bench. Brian Bennett, Time, "How Brett Kavanaugh Could Change the Supreme Court—and America," 12 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of stalwart


15th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stalwart


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

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Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for stalwart

The first known use of stalwart was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for stalwart



English Language Learners Definition of stalwart

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: very loyal and dedicated

: physically strong



English Language Learners Definition of stalwart (Entry 2 of 2)

: a loyal supporter


stal·wart | \ˈstȯl-wərt \

Kids Definition of stalwart

: sturdy sense 1, resolute a stalwart body stalwart spirits

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More from Merriam-Webster on stalwart

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stalwart

Spanish Central: Translation of stalwart

Nglish: Translation of stalwart for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about stalwart

Comments on stalwart

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one that holds something together

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