stanch

verb
\ ˈstȯnch How to pronounce stanch (audio) , ˈstänch, ˈstanch \
variants: or \ ˈstȯnch How to pronounce stanch (audio) , ˈstänch \
stanched or staunched; stanching or staunching; stanches or staunches

Definition of stanch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to check or stop the flowing of stanched her tears also : to stop the flow of blood from (a wound)
2a : to stop or check in its course trying to stanch the crime wave
b : to make watertight : stop up
3 archaic : allay, extinguish

stanch

adjective
\ ˈstȯnch How to pronounce stanch (audio) , ˈstänch, ˈstanch \

less common spelling of

1 : steadfast in loyalty or principle a staunch friend
b : strongly built : substantial

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Other Words from stanch

Verb

stancher noun

Staunch and Stanch

Both stanch and staunch come from the Anglo-French estancher, meaning “to check or stop the flowing of.” Both have been in use for many hundreds of years. And most dictionaries will list them as having the exact same meaning. They are, in fact, variants of each other. But there's a catch: staunch is more commonly used as an adjective (it has several meanings in this role, including “steadfast in loyalty or principle” and "substantial"), and stanch is more commonly used as a verb (common meanings are "to check or stop the flowing of" and "to stop or check in its course"). Here are example of each in typical use:

a staunch supporter/advocate

staunch resistance/allegiance

to stanch the flow/bleeding

stanching the loss of jobs/revenue

Note that saying that something is more commonly used in some way does not necessarily mean that people who choose to use it in the less common way are wrong. There is a considerable body of evidence, from reputable sources, of staunch and stanch being used in their less common roles.

Some people will tell you that you should always keep these words apart, and if you’d like to do this you may find the following sentence of some assistance in helping you to remember the difference: "A staunch friend would help you stanch a bleeding thumb."

Alternatively, you may rely on the time-honored method of people-who-remember-things-poorly and use this limerick:

Tho’ neither stanch nor staunch must conform
To rigid semantical norm
Some editors will blanch,
When encountering stanch
If it’s used in adjective form

Did You Know?

Verb

The verb "stanch" has a lot in common with the adjective staunch, meaning "steadfast." Not only do both words derive from the Anglo-French word estancher (which has the same meaning as "stanch"), but the spelling "s-t-a-n-c-h" is sometimes used for the adjective, and the spelling "s-t-a-u-n-c-h" is sometimes used for the verb. Although both spelling variants have been in reputable use for centuries and both are perfectly standard for either the verb or adjective, "stanch" is the form used most often for the verb and "staunch" is the most common variant for the adjective.

Examples of stanch in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Over the past six weeks, John had endured another surgery to stanch bleeding at the transplant site. Lauren Caruba, San Antonio Express-News, 7 Apr. 2021 Successive governments have pledged, without much success, to find ways to stanch the flood. New York Times, 24 May 2021 In the meantime, the Legislature is moving forward with a budget including an aid package that might stanch the bleeding. Los Angeles Times, 21 Apr. 2021 Credit Suisse, which had acted too slowly to stanch the damage, announced the possibility of significant losses; Nomura announced as much as $2 billion in losses. New York Times, 3 Apr. 2021 Whether Johnson can stanch the upwelling of dissent and disillusionment in Scotland and Northern Ireland is an open question. Christina Boyle, Los Angeles Times, 27 Jan. 2021 All of the club statements and official condemnations and well-meaning hashtags do nothing whatsoever to stanch the flow of abuse. New York Times, 12 Feb. 2021 Expecting girls to be able to stanch its creep by themselves is too much. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 30 Mar. 2021 But others see danger in politicians’ caution and vacillating positions on a vaccine that is vital to European efforts to stanch the pandemic. Matthew Dalton, WSJ, 16 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stanch.' 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 stanch

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stanch

Verb

Middle English staunchen, from Anglo-French estancher, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *stanticare, from Latin stant-, stans, present participle

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Time Traveler for stanch

Time Traveler

The first known use of stanch was in the 14th century

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Statistics for stanch

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stanch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stanch. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for stanch

stanch

verb

English Language Learners Definition of stanch

: to stop something (especially blood) from flowing
variants: also staunch \ ˈstȯnch, ˈstänch How to pronounce stanch (audio) \

Medical Definition of stanch

: to check or stop the flowing of stanch bleeding also : to stop the flow of blood from stanch a wound

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