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
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

Al, a staunch follower of keto, shot back on Twitter that what Jillian did on The Biggest Loser was actually a bad idea. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Jillian Michaels Wages Keto War By Going Off on Andy Cohen," 18 Jan. 2019 The ads, on both sides of the aisle, signal a deep partisan divide—suggesting whoever Trump announces will receive staunch support from Republicans and be roundly opposed by Democrats. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Supreme Court battle: Conservative group vows to spend $10M backing Trump pick," 2 Oct. 2018 Mulvaney, a staunch conservative, certainly contrasts with a choice like Chris Christie, a blue-state governor who may have been better-suited to dealing with a new Democratic House of Representatives. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Trump names Mick Mulvaney acting White House chief of staff," 15 Dec. 2018 Hatch has long been a staunch conservative, but worked across the aisle with the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Brady Mccombs, The Seattle Times, "Hatch laments loss of civility for US Senate in ‘crisis’," 12 Dec. 2018 On his sitcom, Last Man Standing, the actor plays Mike Baxter, a supportive husband, dad of three daughters, and a staunch conservative who isn’t afraid to let his opinions be known. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Tim Allen Responds to Criticisms That ‘Last Man Standing’ Is Too Political," 22 Nov. 2018 Conservatives have set out for decades to get a staunch conservative majority on the Supreme Court. Sean Illing, Vox, "Why the Constitution is an inherently progressive document," 18 Dec. 2018 But if the pros in the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen have anything to do with it, that's about to change: This hearty cauliflower steak recipe is a vegetarian dinner alternative that even the staunchest of meat-eaters will love. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "These Cauliflower "Steaks" With Chimichurri Sauce Take Just 20 Minutes to Make," 21 Nov. 2018 Some euroskeptic lawmakers dream of replacing May with a staunch Brexiteer such as Johnson, a populist, polarizing politician who has never made a secret of his ambition to be prime minister. Washington Post, "Boris Johnson quits UK government in 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

2 Feb 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 , 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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