staunch

adjective
\ ˈstȯnch How to pronounce staunch (audio) , ˈstänch \
variants: or less commonly \ ˈstȯnch How to pronounce stanch (audio) , ˈstänch , ˈstanch \

Definition of staunch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : steadfast in loyalty or principle a staunch friend
b : strongly built : substantial

staunch

verb
\ ˈstȯnch How to pronounce staunch (audio) , 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 The Hawkeyes run the football, play staunch defense and typically win somewhere between eight and nine games. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Big Ten power rankings: Ohio State vs. Michigan football pits 1 vs. 2," 25 Nov. 2019 Great matchup of Blue Ridge's high-powered offense, led by QB P.J. London, and Snowflake's staunch defense, led by Brig Turley and Treven Hensley. Richard Obert, azcentral, "High school football 3A state playoff quarterfinals breakdown, predictions," 12 Nov. 2019 Tyson, who was a staunch advocate of diversity and racial justice, was the company’s first Black CEO, and worked for Kaiser for over 30 years. Essence, "Bernard J. Tyson, Kaiser Permanente Chairman & CEO, Dies At 60," 10 Nov. 2019 Final: 31-26, Gophers 😤 pic.twitter.com/ArOzUnw3qF — Sporting News (@sportingnews) November 9, 2019 Tanner Morgan passed for 339 yards and three touchdowns to direct a dismantling of Penn State's staunch defense, as Minnesota (9-0, 6-0, No. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "Minnesota upsets Penn State, trolls CFP with tweet," 9 Nov. 2019 With the case now headed to the Police Board, City Hall will face the difficult task of reconciling Johnson’s findings with its staunch defense of Kelly for nearly a decade. Jeff Coen, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson: Officer should be fired for shooting a childhood friend and lying about it for years," 18 Oct. 2019 President Trump was headlining a rally on friendly turf in Kentucky on Monday night, just hours before the state’s voters are set to decide whether to give staunch White House ally Matt Bevin another term as governor in a nail-biting race. Fox News, "Trump headlines rally on eve of pivotal elections in Kentucky, Virginia, Mississippi," 5 Nov. 2019 Russia has been a staunch ally of Assad for decades and entered the Syrian conflict in 2015, providing air power that eventually turned the tide of the war in his favor. Bassem Mroue, The Denver Post, "Russia seeks to cement its role as power broker in Syria," 15 Oct. 2019 Russia has been a staunch ally of Assad for decades and entered the Syrian conflict in 2015, providing air cover that eventually turned the tide of the war in his favor. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Russia moves to fill void left by US in northern Syria," 15 Oct. 2019

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

Time Traveler for staunch

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for staunch

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Staunch.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/staunch?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=s&file=staunc01. Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for staunch

staunch

adjective
How to pronounce staunch (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of staunch

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

staunch

adjective
\ ˈstȯnch How to pronounce staunch (audio) , 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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More from Merriam-Webster on staunch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for staunch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with staunch

Spanish Central: Translation of staunch

Nglish: Translation of staunch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of staunch for Arabic Speakers

Comments on staunch

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