state·​ly | \ ˈstāt-lē How to pronounce stately (audio) \
statelier; stateliest

Definition of stately

1a : marked by lofty or imposing dignity
2 : impressive in size or proportions

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from stately

stateliness noun
stately adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for stately

grand, magnificent, imposing, stately, majestic, grandiose mean large and impressive. grand adds to greatness of size the implications of handsomeness and dignity. a grand staircase magnificent implies an impressive largeness proportionate to scale without sacrifice of dignity or good taste. magnificent paintings imposing implies great size and dignity but especially stresses impressiveness. an imposing edifice stately may suggest poised dignity, erectness of bearing, handsomeness of proportions, ceremonious deliberation of movement. the stately procession majestic combines the implications of imposing and stately and usually adds a suggestion of solemn grandeur. a majestic waterfall grandiose implies a size or scope exceeding ordinary experience grandiose hydroelectric projects but is most commonly applied derogatorily to inflated pretension or absurd exaggeration. grandiose schemes

Examples of stately in a Sentence

the governor watched with stately aloofness as his wife charmed the party guests a stately dowager in an evening gown
Recent Examples on the Web Pick a rich purple (like Regal Plum (1002-7A) by Valspar) to perk up stately Georgian-style architecture. Grace Haynes, Southern Living, "8 Fresh Front Door Colors to Brighten Up Your Home," 25 Apr. 2020 Columns and a fountain set a stately tone, leading into a hotel lobby-style foyer with paneled walls and shades of black and white under 32-foot ceilings. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar clears a $4-million base in Florida," 6 May 2020 Today the stately mastodon sits waiting for crowds to return. Alicia Ault, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Mastodon is a Centerpiece of an Art Exhibition. Why?," 1 May 2020 In a luxury class where the German mainstays all do proper and upstanding things like exude confidence and project stately reserve, the Quattroporte is a wild, seductive design. Jared Gall, Car and Driver, "2020 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 Is Not Special Enough," 21 Apr. 2020 The room: furniture and tchotchkes of a stately home of a generation past. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 16 Apr. 2020 But today, the stately home in Hampshire, England, is empty and echoing, devoid of visitors like every other attraction in the U.K. during the coronavirus lockdown. Simon Perry,, "The Real Downton Abbey Owners Are Hosting a Virtual Lockdown Cocktail Hour — with Jazz and Gin!," 16 Apr. 2020 Sometimes, though, the burden of playing a dedicated servant of the people appears to be too much for Moura: the performance feels stiff and stately, as if he’s considered every breath. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Netflix's Sergio Tells the Story of a Noble Diplomat—But Where's the Man?," 8 Apr. 2020 The 73-year-old Emrick narrated the action with the stately flair that has become his trademark. Jace Evans, USA TODAY, "NHL on NBC play-by-play announcer Mike Emrick calls windshield wiper replacement," 24 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stately.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of stately

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stately

Time Traveler for stately

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for stately

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stately.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stately


How to pronounce stately (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of stately

: very impressive in appearance, manner, or size


state·​ly | \ ˈstāt-lē How to pronounce stately (audio) \
statelier; stateliest

Kids Definition of stately

: impressive in size or dignity stately oaks stately homes

Other Words from stately

stateliness noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on stately

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stately

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stately

Spanish Central: Translation of stately

Nglish: Translation of stately for Spanish Speakers

Comments on stately

What made you want to look up stately? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!