staunch

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

Definition of staunch 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : steadfast in loyalty or principle a staunch friend

2a : watertight, sound

b : strongly built : substantial

staunch

verb
\ˈstȯnch, ˈstänch\

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)

2a : to stop or check in its course trying to stanch the crime wave

b : to make watertight : stop up

3 archaic : allay, extinguish

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Other Words from staunch

Adjective

staunchly adverb
staunchness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for staunch

Adjective

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 and Stanch

Both stanch and staunch come from the Anglo-French estancher, meaning “to check or stop the flowing of.” Both have been in use for many hundreds of years. And most dictionaries will list them as having the exact same meaning. They are, in fact, variants of each other. But there's a catch: staunch is more commonly used as an adjective (it has several meanings in this role, including “steadfast in loyalty or principle” and "substantial"), and stanch is more commonly used as a verb (common meanings are "to check or stop the flowing of" and "to stop or check in its course"). Here are example of each in typical use:

a staunch supporter/advocate

staunch resistance/allegiance

to stanch the flow/bleeding

stanching the loss of jobs/revenue

Note that saying that something is more commonly used in some way does not necessarily mean that people who choose to use it in the less common way are wrong. There is a considerable body of evidence, from reputable sources, of staunch and stanch being used in their less common roles.

Some people will tell you that you should always keep these words apart, and if you’d like to do this you may find the following sentence of some assistance in helping you to remember the difference: "A staunch friend would help you stanch a bleeding thumb."

Alternatively, you may rely on the time-honored method of people-who-remember-things-poorly and use this limerick:

Tho’ neither stanch nor staunch must conform
To rigid semantical norm
Some editors will blanch,
When encountering stanch
If it’s used in adjective form

Examples of staunch in a Sentence

Adjective

She is a staunch advocate of women's rights. He's a staunch believer in the value of regular exercise. I'm one of his staunchest supporters.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

With Kavanaugh, Trump is replacing a swing vote on the nine-member court with a staunch conservative. Catherine Lucey, Zeke Miller And Mark Sherman, Houston Chronicle, "Trump picks Kavanaugh for court, setting up fight with Dems," 10 July 2018 Hill, a staunch social conservative who is married, had been viewed as a rising star in the Republican Party since his election in 2016. Brian Slodysko, Post-Tribune, "Indiana attorney general denies groping allegations, rejects calls to resign," 9 July 2018 George Will, a longtime political commentator and staunch defender of the conservative movement, made a dramatic exit from the Republican Party Friday, citing the party’s support for Donald Trump in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "George Will Leaves Republican Party, Urges Conservatives to Vote Against Donald Trump," 23 June 2018 Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, a staunch defender of President Donald Trump's tough stance on global trade, was in good condition in a Washington-area hospital after suffering a heart attack, the White House said on Tuesday. Steve Holland, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump economic adviser Kudlow in ‘good’ condition after heart attack," 12 June 2018 To state the obvious: Donald Trump is not a staunch defender of the Geneva Conventions. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "America Is About to Risk a World War to Defend the Credibility of Trump’s Tweets," 13 Apr. 2018 Trump met Thursday with DiGenova, who has been a staunch defender of the president on Fox News, and has cast the Mueller probe as a conspiracy to oust the president, according to The Washington Post. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Trump backs down from hiring 2 lawyers to defend him in Russia probe," 25 Mar. 2018 Confrontation of all kinds is the movie’s unifying theme, tying personal to political and private to public in a story energized by the detailed memory and staunch pragmatism of its subject. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, "Review: In ‘The Other Side of Everything,’ a Belgrade Apartment Symbolizes Upheaval," 12 July 2018 Some euroskeptic lawmakers dream of replacing May with a staunch Brexiteer, such as Johnson, who in the past has disagreed publicly with his boss. Jill Lawless, BostonGlobe.com, "UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson quits amid mounting Brexit crisis," 9 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of staunch

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for staunch

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French estanche, feminine of estanc, from estancher to stanch — more at stanch entry 1

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Learn More about staunch

Statistics for staunch

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for staunch

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

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More Definitions for staunch

staunch

adjective
\ˈstȯnch, ˈstänch\
stauncher; staunchest

Kids Definition of staunch

1 : strongly built : substantial staunch foundations

2 : loyal, steadfast They were staunch supporters.

Other Words from staunch

staunchly adverb

staunch

Medical Definition of staunch 

variant of stanch

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Comments on staunch

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