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

Francke’s brothers, Pat and Kevin Francke, have been staunch defenders of Gable and believe he was wrongly convicted. oregonlive.com, "Frank Gable, convicted of killing Oregon prisons chief in 1989, will walk out of prison Friday," 27 June 2019 John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, has been a staunch advocate for regime change. Greg Jaffe, Washington Post, "A dangerous confusion at the heart of Trump’s foreign policy," 21 June 2019 Busy Philipps is on the phone, talking about her somewhat unexpected transition from actress and talk-show host to staunch defender of and spokeswoman for reproductive rights. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "How Busy Philipps became a voice for abortion rights through #YouKnowMe," 17 June 2019 Laura Bush was a staunch advocate for childhood literacy. Michelle Garcia, Glamour, "The First Lady Has a Huge Job. It’s Time She Had a Salary to Match," 3 Apr. 2019 However, Ariana has also been a staunch advocate for LGBTQ+ people in the past, and is also performing at Manchester Pride this year. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Sang About Liking "Women and Men" on "Monopoly," Sparking Fan Speculation About Her Sexuality," 2 Apr. 2019 There are no schools in the camp, and the children remain vulnerable to the teachings of their surviving parents or guardians, who were among the staunchest holdouts of the Islamic State. Washington Post, "New suffering for the children of the ISIS caliphate as hunger and sickness spread," 20 June 2019 The staunch Republican pledged to work with his fellow commissioners to regulate the state's booming oil & gas industry. Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, "Wayne Christian elected as Railroad Commission chairman," 18 June 2019 His views turned out to be staunch and unequivocal. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds," 17 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

Statistics for staunch

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with staunch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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