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

In America the most stalwart supporters of Israel and the Jewish people are evangelical Christians and orthodox Catholics. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Oldest Hatred," 28 Oct. 2018 The airline, which ran up a huge debt during its thirty years in flight before ultimately being liquidated, is partnering with stalwart African airliner Ethiopian to get off the ground. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "Zambia is Relaunching its National Airline," 21 Aug. 2018 The mere fact that the U.S. would impose sanctions on Turkey — a stalwart NATO ally for decades during the Cold War — has increased uncertainty about the future in Turkey. David Mchugh And Suzan Fraser, Fox News, "Why Turkey's currency is plunging and what it means," 13 Aug. 2018 But this time, the policy was so divisive and unpopular that even stalwart Republican supporters — from the Chamber of Commerce to evangelist Franklin Graham — urged the president to reverse his stance. Sarah Binder, Washington Post, "Immigration boiled over last week. Here’s what Congress did — and why.," 25 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Others remain stalwart in their backing of the Republican president. Washington Post, "Trump’s jabs, feints on trade roil ag industry supporters," 29 Apr. 2018 Bush is a stalwart in the middle, Devin Gil had his best camp at the weak-side linebacker spot and Josh Uche has made a jump. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's defense is deepest it has been under Don Brown," 29 Apr. 2018 In one landmark study from the late ’50s, over 1,000 stalwarts were inoculated with the infectious nasal secretions from a patient with an active cold. Richard Klasco, M.d., New York Times, "Can I Catch the Same Cold Twice?," 9 Mar. 2018 George Halas, whose parents were from Bohemia, was a Chicago football stalwart who started playing for the Staleys in 1920, re-christened them the Bears in 1922, and played for the team and coached it for the next 45 years. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘The League’ Review: Single Wing and a Prayer," 6 Nov. 2018 Cruz’s profile as a stalwart of the right mobilizes conservative donors as well. Kevin Diaz And Alejandra Matos, San Antonio Express-News, "O’Rourke vs. Cruz draws millions in contributions from outside of Texas," 11 July 2018 His outspoken criticism of Erdogan's targeting of opponents under the state of emergency has struck a chord with the CHP, despite the party's reputation as a secular stalwart. Umar Farooq,, "Turkish President Erdogan faces an alliance of opposition parties looking to remove him from office," 2 May 2018 Evans will be counted on as a special teams stalwart and provide depth. Jim Owczarski,, "Cincinnati Bengals mailbag: Trading down in the draft and Pacman’s future," 4 Apr. 2018 Yet this does not mean RNA is about to join DNA as a stalwart of forensic investigations. The Economist, "Forensic scienceA new method to find the time of death shows promise," 27 Feb. 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

1 Dec 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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living or existing for a long time

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