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 People hoping to get coveted seats for the arguments camped out for hours outside of the stately building. Amber Hunt, The Enquirer, "5 years after same-sex marriage ruling, Jim Obergefell's fight continues," 26 June 2020 People hoping to get coveted seats for the arguments camped out for hours outside of the stately building. Amber Hunt, USA TODAY, "5 years after same-sex marriage ruling, Jim Obergefell reflects on the progress while still grieving," 26 June 2020 Barcelona’s stately Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house took the meaning of live audience to a new level Monday amid coronavirus restrictions that have shut down venues worldwide. Dessi Gomez, Los Angeles Times, "Barcelona’s Liceu theater reopens to a sea of green, with plants replacing patrons," 23 June 2020 Where to stay: In Warren, check in to the Pitcher Inn, a stately house kitted out in preppy New England decor (think duck decoys, paneled walls). Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "14 Best Road Trips in America," 22 June 2020 The show’s reinterpretations of Dylan’s songs trend stately and sad, emphasizing the singer’s fatalism. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "It’s a Good Moment for Bob Dylan’s Pessimism," 19 June 2020 But life in a stately home isn't quite the fairy tale it's made out to be. Southern Living, "The New Show “An American Aristocrat’s Guide to Great Estates” Invites You To Tour Lavish British Properties," 12 June 2020 The once stately Atlanta suburb of Inman Park had been in social and physical erosion for years when Sweet moved in. Christopher Quinn, ajc, "John Sweet, activist and lawyer, dies at 77," 11 June 2020 The building—one of the largest private animal hospitals in the U.S.—is a stately labyrinth of care rooms circling a lobby with a sprawling fish tank column at its center. Thomas Buckley,, "Builders of a $20 Billion Coffee Empire Have Their Eyes on Pets," 8 June 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

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stately.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 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

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!