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

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 Unions have remained stalwart backers of Democratic politicians, even as many of their white, working-class members gravitated in the last election to the populist message of President Donald Trump. Kris Maher, WSJ, "Public-Sector Unions Brace for Fallout From Supreme Court Decision on Fees," 27 June 2018 The stalwart California punk group Social Distortion tops Saturday’s bill. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "KC concerts June 28-July 4: Middle of the Map, Flaming Lips, Nelly, Whiskey Myers," 26 June 2018 The inter-fandom lovefest that followed saw the hashtag trend for several hours as the Hive got to know more about the rising boy band and BTS’ stalwart fans got to enjoy Bey's music. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "BTS' Army and Beyonce's Beyhive Teamed Up on Twitter For a Major Streaming Party," 20 June 2018 Such bad optics in fact that Trump's been condemned by usually stalwart supporters like the Southern Baptist Convention and evangelist Franklin Graham. Luke Darby, GQ, "Trump Thinks Thousands of Detained, Traumatized Immigrant Kids Are a Great Bargaining Chip," 16 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That body of writing persuaded Trump and his conservative advisers that Kavanaugh would remain a stalwart originalist on the bench. Brian Bennett, Time, "How Brett Kavanaugh Could Change the Supreme Court—and America," 12 July 2018 Josh Hader became a strikeout sensation and multi-inning stalwart, Jeremy Jeffress went weeks at a time without giving up a run and Albers pitched admirably before getting injured. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Haudricourt: Brewers' depth has been huge in overcoming series of injuries this season," 6 July 2018 Pick up the catch-of-the-day or snackable tins of smoked salmon at Katy’s Smokehouse, a community stalwart since the 1940s. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian, "The 20 Best Small Towns To Visit in 2018," 5 June 2018 In this touching, compact video installation, Hall — a stalwart of the Bay Area art scene — offers a balm for the inflamed nerves of the American body politic. Charles Desmarais, San Francisco Chronicle, "Charles Desmarais’ art picks for June 3," 31 May 2018 Their efforts are part of a broader proxy war among Democrats between teachers' unions — longtime stalwarts of the party — and those who argue that the groups have failed low-income and minority schoolchildren. Ryan Menezes,, "A few rich charter school supporters are spending millions to elect Antonio Villaraigosa governor," 14 May 2018 Among the nation’s defenders, Randall is in the upper echelon – a true defensive stalwart. Jonathan Richardson,, "Mason, OSU lacrosse All-American Ben Randall goes 14th in Major League Lacrosse draft," 10 May 2018 While IndyFringe's Basile Theatre and Indy Eleven Theatre remain stalwarts of the district, the Phoenix Theatre is moving this month from its Chatham Arch home to a brand new building at Illinois and Walnut streets. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "A Mass Ave. theater is getting a new anchor that will change up entertainment," 25 Apr. 2018 How did Beale, a stalwart of the British theatre who has made a mere pocketful of films, achieve this suppurating portrait of malice? Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, "“The Death of Stalin” Dares to Make Evil Funny," 6 Mar. 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

8 Sep 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

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to make amends

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