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

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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

Lima’s old colonial city center is home to the Presidential Palace, the Plaza de Armas, the Palace of Justice, and the Congress, all stately buildings with history and heft, but these are only the symbols of power, not the power itself. Daniel Alarcón, The New Yorker, "What Led Peru’s Former President to Take His Own Life?," 1 July 2019 The Royal Society is housed in a stately building overlooking St. James’s Park. Quanta Magazine, "Scientists Seek to Update Evolution," 22 Nov. 2016 Tobin Ost’s stately court set opens up to an impressive forest of soaring lodgepoles, complete with campfire. James Hebert, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘As You Like It’ zips along with elegance and wit in Old Globe’s Shakespeare Festival opener," 23 June 2019 The light work is particularly impressive in a movie that can shift with ease from the neon luridness of the midway to the delicate tracery of sunlight refracted through a stately retinue of chandeliers. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Review: Woody and Buzz are back and better than ever," 20 June 2019 Mona Nasrawi offers a similarly stately performance as Hero’s mother, Leonata (originally written as Leonato, her father)., "Wittiness and romance make ‘Much Ado’ quite something at Tulane Shakespeare Fest," 19 June 2019 From the street, the library is stately stone, but on the other side of the door Cannell met a more mundane, institutional sight: white walls, a café counter to the right, and tables and chairs to the left. Rebecca Nathanson, Harper's magazine, "English Referendums and Scotch Voters," 19 June 2019 The center of Shanghai is a patchwork of futuristic skyscrapers, stately colonial neighborhoods, and traditional Chinese architecture. National Geographic, "China High School Expedition," 12 June 2019 The stately colonial was built in 1985, but remodeled in 2000 with ultra high-end features. Courant Community, "Community News For The West Hartford Edition," 17 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of stately

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

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Statistics for stately

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for stately

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on stately

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stately

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stately

Spanish Central: Translation of stately

Nglish: Translation of stately for Spanish Speakers

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