verb \ ˈstȯnch , ˈstänch \
Updated on: 17 Feb 2018

variant of

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



adjective \ ˈstȯnch , ˈstänch \
variants: or less commonly play \ˈstȯnch, ˈstänch, ˈstanch\

Definition of staunch

1 a : watertight, sound
b : strongly built : substantial
2 : steadfast in loyalty or principle
  • a staunch friend





Examples of staunch in a Sentence

  1. She is a staunch advocate of women's rights.

  2. He's a staunch believer in the value of regular exercise.

  3. I'm one of his staunchest supporters.

Recent Examples of staunch from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of staunch

Middle English, from Anglo-French estanche, feminine of estanc, from estancher to stanch — more at stanch

Synonym Discussion of staunch

faithful, loyal, constant, staunch, steadfast, resolute mean firm in adherence to whatever one owes allegiance. faithful implies unswerving adherence to a person or thing or to the oath or promise by which a tie was contracted.
    • faithful to her promise
loyal implies a firm resistance to any temptation to desert or betray.
    • remained loyal to the czar
constant stresses continuing firmness of emotional attachment without necessarily implying strict obedience to promises or vows.
    • constant friends
staunch suggests fortitude and resolution in adherence and imperviousness to influences that would weaken it.
    • a staunch defender of free speech
steadfast implies a steady and unwavering course in love, allegiance, or conviction.
    • steadfast in their support
resolute implies firm determination to adhere to a cause or purpose.
    • a resolute ally

STAUNCH Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of staunch for English Language Learners

  • : very devoted or loyal to a person, belief, or cause

STAUNCH Defined for Kids


adjective \ ˈstȯnch , ˈstänch \

Definition of staunch for Students

stauncher; staunchest
1 : strongly built : substantial
  • staunch foundations
2 : loyal, steadfast
  • They were staunch supporters.



Medical Dictionary


medical Definition of staunch

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


confident and optimistic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a-citrus-fruit-possibly-named-after-a-person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!