stal·​wart | \ ˈstȯl-wərt How to pronounce stalwart (audio) \

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

But Sanders and other stalwart single-payer proponents see health care as fundamentally different from other commodities and believe the government should guarantee health coverage. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Is employer-sponsored insurance really a good deal for workers?," 7 Feb. 2019 The move could result in the indictment of Mr. Netanyahu, one of President Trump’s most stalwart foreign allies and a key partner in his Middle East policy as the White House prepares to roll out a plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Dov Lieber, WSJ, "Netanyahu Under Pressure as Israeli Police Recommend Charges in Third Corruption Case," 2 Dec. 2018 Among Republicans, Paul has long been seen as one of the most stalwart champions of stricter privacy protections. Li Zhou, Vox, "Rand Paul says he’s “honestly undecided” on Kavanaugh," 23 July 2018 The chairs are part of a contest put on by Design Within Reach, that stalwart purveyor of covetable modern furniture, and Champagne Pommery to encourage people to make the coolest chair possible out of champagne corks. Lindsey Ramsey, House Beautiful, "Look At These Adorable Chairs Made Out Of Champagne Corks," 22 Dec. 2018 But Sanders and other stalwart single-payer proponents see health care as fundamentally different from other commodities and believe the government should guarantee health coverage. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The Medicare-for-all paradox," 14 Dec. 2018 America will miss her devoted son, her stalwart champion, her elder statesman. Fox News, "Trump orders flags flown at half-staff for John McCain," 28 Aug. 2018 But with the rocket primed for interplanetary missions still in development, SpaceX will test out its BFR technology with the help of one of its stalwart vessels: the Falcon 9. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceX Is Fashioning a Miniature Big Falcon Rocket Out of a Falcon 9," 8 Nov. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Stewart and Colbert at the time were Comedy Central stalwarts. Brian Steinberg,, "Conan, Colbert, Fallon collude in late-night response to Trump," 27 June 2018 Gone are the stalwarts of years past, like Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose. Stanley Kay,, "2018 World Cup Group F Preview: Mexico, Sweden to Challenge Champion Germany," 8 June 2018 Bucking the city closure trend are stalwarts that have formed long-term relationships with customers. Brittany Britto,, "Baltimore restaurant closures continue as suburbanites dine elsewhere," 7 May 2018 Gone are interior stalwarts Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks, a West Charlotte High graduate, leaving UNC without much muscle on the interior. Brendan Marks, charlotteobserver, "Why there’s a ‘real chance,’ one expert says, that NCAA champs could emerge from Charlotte | Charlotte Observer," 15 Mar. 2018 Vilebrequin Swim Shorts Especially fitting if warm-weather travel is on your calendar, these playful and practical swim trunks from the St. Tropez stalwart are covered in tiny fishes. The Editors, WSJ, "WSJ. Magazine’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide," 11 Feb. 2019 The Seahawks still have that capability despite the absence of most of the stalwarts from the Legion of Boom such as Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. Josh Dubow, The Seattle Times, "Modern NFL makes it harder for D to lead way to title," 2 Jan. 2019 Two more excellent Spinanes records followed—1996’s Strand and 1998’s Arches and Aisles—and after the Spinanes disbanded, Gates continued to perform and put out her own music and Plouf joined those '90s stalwarts Built to Spill. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Taking to Rebecca Gates of The Spinanes, as Manos—a Lost '90s Indie-Rock Classic—Gets a Deluxe Reissue," 5 Dec. 2018 Pocan and Schakowsky are longtime progressive stalwarts, but Luján’s co-sponsorship is a bit more surprising. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Top House Democrats join Elizabeth Warren’s push to fundamentally change American capitalism," 14 Dec. 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

10 Mar 2019

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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)

formal : a loyal supporter


stal·​wart | \ ˈstȯl-wərt How to pronounce stalwart (audio) \

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

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


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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