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

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: Adjective Biden is—and has been for almost his entire career—one of the Israeli government’s most stalwart defenders in the Democratic Party. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "Democratic Hawks Declare War on Bernie Sanders," 31 Jan. 2020 Geese — those stalwart defenders of ancient Rome, whose alarmed honking stopped Gallic invaders from sneaking on the Capitoline Hill — peck at the grass. John Metcalfe, Washington Post, "The 2,300-year-old philosophy stoicism has enjoyed a revival of late, including in Silicon Valley," 6 Jan. 2020 After all, both William’s great-grandfather (King George) and grandmother (Queen Elizabeth) managed to become beloved, capable and stalwart monarchs despite being outshone by a more colorful and mercurial sibling. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Two Princes: Would You Rather Work for William or Harry?," 24 Jan. 2020 But challenging Trump’s hold on white evangelicals who have proven stalwart conservatives since the Reagan era may require flawed assumptions about their decision-making. Washington Post, "Trump’s faithful: 2020 tests his ties to white evangelicals," 13 Jan. 2020 The Navy has committed almost half a billion dollars to build the navigation system and install it on more than 60 destroyers by the end of the next decade — the entire fleet of the tough, stalwart warships that form the backbone of the modern Navy. T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, "The Navy installed touch-screen steering systems to save money.," 20 Dec. 2019 And that offensive line is going to need left tackle Isaiah Wynn, eligible to return in Week 12 against the Cowboys, to be a stalwart right away., "Welcome to the Unconventional Review, which comes in lieu of the Unconventional Preview during the Patriots’ bye week when, as you might have noticed, there is no game to preview.," 11 Nov. 2019 This latest agave shortage comes at a time when tequila is continuing to steal market share from other stalwart spirits such as vodka and rum. Rachel King, Fortune, "The Tequila Shortage Could Be Almost Over," 7 Dec. 2019 The Redskins defense had a stalwart effort as Loveland produced -2 yards rushing and just 100 yards of total offense. Alexander Harrison,, "Live updates: Week 10 high school football scores in Cincinnati, Kentucky, Indiana," 1 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The fact that some 189 other nations, including Islamic stalwarts like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have joined CEDAW has not slowed the spread of the Islamists’ propaganda. Rebecca Hamilton, Washington Post, "The Georgetown Student Who Became Justice Minister of Sudan," 5 Feb. 2020 In the age of media stalwarts like Netflix, Disney, and HBO, starting a brand from scratch is an immense challenge. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "Quibi knows you have no idea what Quibi is," 3 Feb. 2020 About 40% are European, with cheeses from places like Sweden and Croatia in addition to stalwarts like France, England and Switzerland. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A comprehensive guide to Milwaukee-area cheese shops," 28 Jan. 2020 Google's cheaper Pixel somehow looks better and more modern than the more expensive Pixel 4, the barely working new sensors have been cut, and old-school stalwarts like the rear fingerprint reader and headphone jack will make a lot of people happy. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Early Pixel 4a renders somehow look better than the more premium Pixel 4," 2 Jan. 2020 Today, stalwarts like Di Bruno Bros.’ cheese-and-salami utopia cede elbow room to up-and-comers like South Philly Barbacoa. Dina Litovsky, National Geographic, "Here’s why you’ll fall in love with Philadelphia," 14 Dec. 2019 Murray’s bankruptcy follows those of industry stalwarts like Cloud Peak Energy, Cambrian Coal and Blackjewel., "NEW YORK — Murray Energy, once a symbol of American mining prowess, has become the eighth coal company in a year to file for bankruptcy protection. The move Tuesday is the latest sign that market forces are throttling the Trump administration’s bid to save the industry.," 30 Oct. 2019 Tennis style has a place off the court too, having seeped its way into mainstream style stalwarts like the Stan Smith tennis sneaker by Adidas and more exclusive, trend-setting fashion like Gucci’s tennis-heavy Pre-Fall 2019 collection. Anna Purna Kambhampaty, Time, "The Surprising—and Sometimes Troubling—History of Tennis Clothes," 5 Sep. 2019 That Netflix is competing with Western anime distribution stalwarts like Funimation is also telling. Allegra Frank, Vox, "8 things to know about Neon Genesis Evangelion, the legendary anime now streaming on Netflix," 21 June 2019

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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Time Traveler for stalwart

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

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Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stalwart.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for stalwart


How to pronounce stalwart (audio)

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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