\ ˈstāv How to pronounce stave (audio) \

Definition of stave

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of the narrow strips of wood or narrow iron plates placed edge to edge to form the sides, covering, or lining of a vessel (such as a barrel) or structure


staved or stove\ ˈstōv How to pronounce stove (audio) \; staving

Definition of stave (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to smash a hole in stove in the boat also : to crush or break inward staved in several ribs
2 : to break in the staves of (a cask)
3 : to drive or thrust away

intransitive verb

1 : to walk or move rapidly
2 archaic : to become stove in used of a boat or ship

Examples of stave in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This one, a collaboration between Bud and Jim Beam, is aged on six-year JB bourbon-barrel staves. Marc Bona, cleveland, "10 beers to try in April (photos)," 12 Apr. 2020 Three years earlier, Maker’s Mark launched the Private Select program, allowing barrel customizations for up to 1,001 different combinations depending on the use of five different finishing staves. John Kell, Fortune, "Whiskey makers are bending the rules for barrel-aging, signaling a new wave for bourbon," 29 Mar. 2020 This week, another Reuters image emerged, of a Muslim man on all fours, bloodied and bowed, trying to shield his head from the dozen or so men encircling him and beating him with staves. Samanth Subramanian, The New Yorker, "How the Indian Government Watched Delhi Burn," 27 Feb. 2020 In this case, 10 wood staves are inserted into a cask-strength barrel of Maker’s Mark, which is then matured for an extra nine weeks. Kevin Gray, Dallas News, "Dallas bars and restaurants are pouring custom, hand-picked spirits. Here’s where to find them.," 15 Jan. 2020 Dark accents contrast with handmade tables and chairs crafted from staves and blond-wood paneled walls. oregonlive, "2019 Portland Brewery of the Year: Ruse Brewing is this beer city’s rising star," 18 Dec. 2019 That number includes Hong Kong’s mafia-like triads, who have taken the party’s side and used staves to beat and threaten pro-democracy protesters. The Economist, "Protesters in Hong Kong take their grievances to the airport," 13 Aug. 2019 The barrel was finished in special French oak staves. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: Cincinnati Reds getting closer to answering the buy-or-sell question," 27 June 2019 Barrel staves threaded across the ceiling, sprouting jagged brass light fixtures. Josh Noel,, "Three Floyds launches distillery with the iconic brewery's same 'it's not normal' point of view," 6 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Norwegian Cruise Lines recently raised $2 billion to stave of bankruptcy concerns, and other cruise lines have yet to provide itineraries about their return to sailing. al, "Carnival leaves Mobile again, and taxpayers are stuck with the bills," 8 May 2020 Regardless of you stove’s age, after every camping trip, inspect it for gas leaks by connecting your canister, closing the valves, and listening for any hissing. Amelia Arvesen, Outside Online, "When to Replace Your Camping Gear," 21 Apr. 2020 According to researchers, watching a favorite show staves it off, but a Netflix binge is a sign of it. Sarah Fay, Longreads, "On Solitude (and Isolation and Loneliness [and Brackets])," 17 Mar. 2020 The world is at last waking up to this humanitarian crisis—and to the fact that Turkey is the only country trying to stave it off. The Economist, "An ally in need Why NATO should grit its teeth and help Turkey in Idlib," 7 Mar. 2020 Just as higher estrogen can stave-off a breakout, testosterone seems to fuel additional production in the glands., "Lighting up for better skin: Can marijuana help acne?," 4 Dec. 2019 Only legal action by residents and businesses staved that off — although just temporarily. Josh Baugh,, "Property owners on Guadalupe lakes feel they were left high and day.," 13 Oct. 2019 Overall, Morgan wasn’t satisfied with the offense’s performance, which needed a fourth-quarter drive to stave up an upset from an FCS-level team. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Gophers QB Tanner Morgan is a ‘game manager,’ and that’s a good thing," 5 Sep. 2019 Dortmund and RB Leipzig should make for legitimate challengers in the Bundesliga, but Bayern got younger, deeper and more versatile in some key areas in hopes of staving them off and mounting trophy quests on multiple fronts. Avi Creditor,, "The Top 10 Summer Transfer Window Classes Around Europe," 3 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stave.' 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 stave


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


circa 1595, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for stave


Middle English, back-formation from staves, plural of staf staff

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Time Traveler for stave

Time Traveler

The first known use of stave was in the 13th century

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Statistics for stave

Last Updated

28 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stave.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for stave


How to pronounce stave (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of stave

: one of the narrow strips of wood that form the sides of a barrel
: a long wooden stick


\ ˈstāv How to pronounce stave (audio) \

Kids Definition of stave

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one of the narrow strips of wood or iron plates that form the sides, covering, or lining of something (as a barrel)
2 : a wooden stick : staff


staved or stove\ ˈstōv \; staving

Kids Definition of stave (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to break in the staves of stave a barrel
2 : to smash a hole in Waves staved the boat's hull.
stave off
: to keep away : ward off A snack will stave off hunger.

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More from Merriam-Webster on stave

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stave

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stave

Spanish Central: Translation of stave

Nglish: Translation of stave for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stave for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about stave

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