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stal·​wart ˈstȯl-wərt How to pronounce stalwart (audio)
: marked by outstanding strength and vigor of body, mind, or spirit
stalwart common sense
stalwartly adverb
stalwartness noun


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: a stalwart person
: an unwavering partisan

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. During the 12th century, forms of stalworth began to be used to describe strongly built people or animals (a meaning stalwart carries). 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 stǣlwierthe (meaning "serviceable"), which, in turn, is thought to come from terms meaning "foundation" and "worth."

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

Examples of stalwart in a Sentence

Adjective 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
Through the character of Susan (Elizabeth Mitchell), a stalwart champion working in the state’s child protective agency, the film makes clear what upheaval the children have experienced in their young lives. Lisa Kennedy, Variety, 4 July 2024 Now a handful of new distilleries are driving a whiskey renaissance near the stalwart brewery. Megan Specia, New York Times, 27 June 2024
Directed by Chris Renaud from a screenplay by The White Lotus creator Mike White and franchise stalwart Ken Daurio, Despicable Me 4 is a reliable follow-up for this financially dependable series. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 June 2024 Most of these atmospheric spots are long gone now, except a few stalwarts like Musso and Frank, the Tam O’Shanter and the Smokehouse. Pat Saperstein, Variety, 28 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for stalwart 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stalwart.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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


Dictionary Entries Near stalwart

Cite this Entry

“Stalwart.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
stal·​wart ˈstȯl-wərt How to pronounce stalwart (audio)
: marked by outstanding strength and vigor of mind, body, or spirit
has stalwart common sense
a stalwart team of rescuers
stalwartly adverb


2 of 2 noun
: a stalwart person
: a loyal supporter (as in politics)

More from Merriam-Webster on stalwart

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