state·​ly | \ˈstāt-lē \
statelier; stateliest

Definition of stately 

1a : marked by lofty or imposing dignity

b : haughty, unapproachable

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

In that live-action retelling it's given a stately and orchestral reading, which overly emphasizes the Beast's existential crisis. Todd Martens,, "Hollywood Bowl's 'Beauty and the Beast' highlights the enduring power of the film's music," 27 May 2018 Inside, the 4,689-square-foot house boasts a formal entryway and grand, stately dining rooms and living rooms. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Grand home built in scenic Charleston harbor asks $7.9M," 6 Nov. 2018 On the home’s main level, a private elevator landing opens to a stately windowed gallery 27 feet long, with a grand elliptical staircase and entry to a 15-by-14-foot west-facing terrace. Vivian Marino, New York Times, "A $39.5 Million Penthouse at 740 Park Avenue," 27 Apr. 2018 If the sprawling front porch, immaculately preserved details, mature pecan grove and stately gardens aren’t enough to steal your heart, the gorgeous pool and adjacent guest cottage should certainly do the trick. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "This Antebellum Beauty Listed for $2,950,000 Sits on Its Very Own Block in Historic Madison, Georgia," 20 June 2018 When the still-stately Queen Anne mansion was completed in 1885, Portland Heights was a new status address. Janet Eastman,, "1885 Victorian mansion opens up: Updating without erasing character (photos)," 22 Mar. 2018 On the left was a stately office building with a stone front, and on the right was a modernist building with the production facilities. Pete Corson, ajc, "Photos: Former Atlanta Constitution and Journal buildings," 14 June 2018 On the first Monday in May, country singer Luke Bryan is posing for photos in front of the stately Egyptian Revival building that’s home to Post 43, whose members have included Ronald Reagan and country singer/movie star Gene Autry. Rob Tannenbaum, Billboard, "Luke Bryan on Tragedy, Triumph and Why He May Never Write Another 'Hunting and Fishing' Song," 5 June 2018 Medieval wool merchants built stately manor houses and remarkable, timeless churches that have been lovingly preserved. New York Times, "36 Hours in the Cotswolds," 17 May 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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Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for stately

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

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More Definitions for stately



English Language Learners Definition of stately

: very impressive in appearance, manner, or size


state·​ly | \ˈstāt-lē \
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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