\ˈstāv \

Definition of stave 

(Entry 1 of 2)

2 : 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 \; staving

Definition of stave (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to break in the staves of (a cask)

2 : to smash a hole in stove in the boat also : to crush or break inward staved in several ribs

3 : to drive or thrust away

intransitive verb

1 archaic : to become stove in used of a boat or ship

2 : to walk or move rapidly

Examples of stave in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Others use materials of drywall, vinyl tile, burlap, stucco, wooden staves, Mylar and ceramics — an homage to the U.S. construction jobs that so many Mexicans fill today. George Fishman, miamiherald, "Monarchs ‘Brown and Native’ butterfly exhibit a response to contemporary events," 13 July 2018 Directors have had to unlearn all the old ways it was once done. Billowing drapery, the dimming of lights, a sudden curtain: that entire evasive language is old hat, as obsolete a thing now as barrel staves and buggy whips. Max Maller, Chicago Reader, "Fucking Men struggles with onstage intimacy realness," 11 July 2018 Jamie will load up a stave (available at his retail shop at 2710 Frankfort Ave.) with, say, oysters, and grill them right in the fire. Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, "Get ready to fire up the grill for Memorial Day with these tips," 22 May 2018 Keep the stave roughly 1 inch wide from tip to tip and 1 inch thick. Andrew Del-colle And Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "How to Make a Bow and Arrow By Hand," 5 June 2018 Woven oak staves undulate across the ceiling like an inverted Andes mountain range. Craig Laban,, "At Vista Peru, a view of promise, pisco and problems," 18 May 2018 Now two esteemed names, Budweiser and Jim Beam, are teaming with up on a special new limited-edition beer, Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager, aged on Jim Beam bourbon barrel staves. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Budweiser brewing up Jim Beam bourbon-beer collaboration," 5 Apr. 2018 The Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager is crafted with two-row barley and aged on the staves from Jim Beam bourbon barrels. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "Budweiser and Jim Beam teaming up to brew specialty beer," 4 Apr. 2018 Called Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager, the beer will be brewed with two-row barley and then aged on Jim Beam bourbon barrel staves, Esquire reports. Emily Price, Fortune, "Jim Beam and Budweiser Are Making a Beer Together," 3 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

To stave them off, wipe the seal down weekly with a mild bleach solution (1-part bleach, 9-parts water). NBC News, "How to clean (almost) every appliance in your home," 14 June 2018 Relegation was unthinkable, and he's successfully managed to stave it off., "Why David Moyes Is Not the Man to Take West Ham Forward Despite Saving Hammers From Relegation," 15 May 2018 But New England will travel to Jacksonville to try to once again vanquish the Jaguars on Sept. 16 in Week 2 after staving them off for the AFC crown in January. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "Eagles to host Falcons in NFL regular-season opener as Super Bowl title defense begins," 19 Apr. 2018 Syria, and its ally Russia, have denied the government used chemical weapons in Douma and said the opposition fabricated the attack to stave a government victory in the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus. Rebecca Collard / Beirut, Time, "With Bravado, the Syrian Government Responds to U.S.-Led Attacks," 14 Apr. 2018 Ajer is currently contracted at Celtic until 2020 and the club are keen to offer an improved contract in an attempt to stave of any interest in their player, who has become a mainstay in Celtic's defence., "Borussia Dortmund Set Their Sights on Celtic's Rising Star Kristoffer Ajer," 3 Apr. 2018 In recent years, Niger has emerged as a strategic ally in counterterrorism missions and efforts to stave irregular migration to the European Union. Lisa Mueller, Washington Post, "Niger’s protests are ramping up. Here’s why.," 26 Mar. 2018 The announcement came despite efforts inside the White House to stave it off, including from Gary Cohn, who as director of the National Economic Council is nominally one of Trump's top economic advisors. Michael Hiltzik,, "Conservative economists are in agony over Trump's tariffs — but can't get in to see him," 5 Mar. 2018 Murray ended his reelection bid earlier this year because of the scandal, but had staved calls for his resignation before his term is completed this year. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigns after fifth child sex-abuse allegation," 12 Sep. 2017

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 1


circa 1595, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for stave


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

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Time Traveler for stave

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

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More Definitions for stave



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 \

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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Comments on stave

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something that serves to warn or remind

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