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 High-profile evangelical conservative Jerry Falwell Jr., a staunch Trump supporter and president of Liberty University, wants the FBI to investigate current and former university employees for... forwarding emails. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Forwarding email is a crime, Jerry Falwell Jr. says after leaks to media," 12 Sep. 2019 John Calhoun, for whom the college is named, was a South Carolina politician, the seventh vice president, and a staunch supporter of slavery. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "A Lesson in Leadership From the U.S. Open: raceAhead," 3 Sep. 2019 Voight has been a staunch supporter of Trump dating back to at least 2016. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "Jon Voight says racism was 'solved long ago,' defends President Trump: 'He is not a racist'," 6 Aug. 2019 Europe has remained a staunch supporter of the deal and is trying to find a way to keep economic ties with Iran despite harsh U.S. sanctions. Stacy Meichtry, WSJ, "Iran Hasn’t Breached Limits of Nuclear Deal Yet," 27 June 2019 But Zeffirelli, a lifelong, staunch supporter of the Catholic Church and its hierarchy, did not describe the incident as traumatic. David Colker, latimes.com, "Italian director Franco Zeffirelli, acclaimed in film, theater and opera, dies at 96," 15 June 2019 Bobby Jones, the staunch defender who would give Bird major issue, would revolutionize the game and bring glory to a bench role by being the first Sixth Man of the Year award. Gary Washburn, BostonGlobe.com, "Basketball Hall induction was a night for the unheralded," 6 Sep. 2019 Because of its role in distributing news in real time, Twitter has been a staunch defender of the free speech rights of public officials. Anchorage Daily News, "Twitter adds labels for tweets that break its rules - a move with potential implications for Trump’s account," 27 June 2019 That test, which has fierce critics and staunch defenders, has been at the center of debate about fair access to opportunity. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "‘Fame’ High School Principal Leaving Post After Student Protests," 24 June 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

26 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Staunch.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/staunchly. Accessed 22 November 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

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