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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

Example Sentences

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
By fortifying the 'home front,' our economic assistance is helping make possible Ukraine's stalwart frontline defense against Russia. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, 27 Feb. 2023 When someone is suffering, simply having a calm, stalwart and undemanding companion can help a lot. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2023 This followed high-profile spring openings such as Aiko, the brick-and-mortar evolution of the Bravery Chef Hall counter, and Uchiko, the little sister concept of stalwart Uchi. Emma Balter, Chron, 24 Jan. 2023 After winning the program’s first Division 1 state title last November, the Redhawks faced an uphill battle without the stalwart seniors from the 2021 run. Cam Kerry,, 12 Oct. 2022 That act of unanswerable violence inspires Mata to leave and join a group of hackers working to upend the status quo, including tech tinkerer Elohel (Rebecca Uwamahoro) and stalwart leader Memory (Eliane Umuhire). Vulture, 3 June 2022 Prince Philip, the occasionally irascible but always stalwart husband of Queen Elizabeth, died April 9, 2021, at age 99. Amy Haneline, USA TODAY, 9 Apr. 2022 Reagan’s desire to encourage freedom in Poland and throughout the Soviet empire was shared by Pope John Paul II, a native of Poland and a stalwart anti-communist. James Freeman, WSJ, 9 Mar. 2022 Uganda has traditionally been a stalwart Western ally in areas such as security cooperation. Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 2 Feb. 2023
The 2019 5th-round draft pick has been a special teams stalwart and has a chance to earn a larger role on defense. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 16 Mar. 2023 Randi Johnson scored 30 points in the 1999 title game, and her sister Mandi Johnson was a stalwart for the 1999 and 2000 title teams. Phil Friend, Detroit Free Press, 2 Mar. 2023 The Goldbergs has been a stalwart for ABC for the past decade, remaining the network’s comedy constant for executive regimes covering Paul Lee, Channing Dungey, Karey Burke and Craig Erwich. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Feb. 2023 On December 13, 1937, Hans, then a fresh-faced, 19-year-old cavalry recruit and Nazi stalwart, was suddenly arrested by the Gestapo. Jud Newborn, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Feb. 2023 Never made an All-Star team, but one of the most beloved players in Wisconsin sports history, known more as a defensive stalwart while playing his entire 17-year career in Milwaukee. Jr Radcliffe, Journal Sentinel, 18 Nov. 2022 The 90-year-old property is an iconic stalwart on the Avenida Liberdade - the stylish boulevard akin to New York’s Fifth Avenue, with a bevy of high-end boutiques and five-star restaurants just outside. Caroline Tell, Forbes, 7 Mar. 2023 Lovan was aggressive in his movements to the basket and was a stalwart on defense as well, finishing with a season-high 14 points and collecting five rebounds and two steals. Evan Dudley, al, 25 Feb. 2023 Ford has been a stalwart on Astros radio broadcasts throughout the organization's golden era. Michael Shapiro, Chron, 10 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

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 27 Mar. 2023.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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