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 Friday afternoon, however, Trump worked to shore up his reputation as a staunch supporter of the nation's armed services. Lolita C. Baldor, Star Tribune, "Pentagon rescinding order to shutter Stars and Stripes paper," 10 Sep. 2020 So said the great nineteenth-century former slave and staunch abolitionist Frederick Douglass at the unveiling of the Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park, Washington, D.C., in 1876. Kenan Malik, The New York Review of Books, "When Monuments Fall," 9 Sep. 2020 When Nnedi Okorafor of Flossmoor approached her condo association about installing an outlet for charging her 2019 Tesla Model 3, she was met with staunch resistance. Susan Degrane, chicagotribune.com, "With electric vehicles, the road to the future still has bumps," 7 Sep. 2020 Trump and his allies have dismissed the Atlantic report as false and depicted the president – who did not serve in the military – as a staunch supporter of service members and veterans. Arkansas Online, "Veterans are divided about reports Trump disparaged military," 6 Sep. 2020 Turkey, a staunch supporter of the leadership in Tripoli, is seeking business opportunities amid the conflict. Mohammed Abdusamee, Bloomberg.com, "Libyans Gasp From Summer Heat as Civil War Shreds Power Grid," 29 Aug. 2020 Its eventual ban came too late to staunch covid-19’s spread. The Economist, "Banyan Politics is spreading covid-19 in Indonesia and the Philippines," 29 Aug. 2020 Mike Pence, who as Donald Trump’s 2016 running mate helped bolster the GOP ticket with staunch conservatives, praised the president’s record Wednesday night and cast rival Joe Biden as too radical for America. Dallas News, "Mike Pence defends administration policies, offers optimistic view of a second Trump term," 27 Aug. 2020 Klacik has been a staunch supporter of President Trump and his administration. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, "Kimberly Klacik slated to speak at Republican convention following viral video 'exposing what life is like in Democrat run cities'," 24 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for staunch

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for staunch

Last Updated

17 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Staunch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/staunch. Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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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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Comments on staunch

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