1

stave

noun \ ˈstāv \
Updated on: 24 Nov 2017

Definition of stave

1 : 1staff 1
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
3 : stanza 1
4 : 1staff 3

Recent Examples of stave from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of stave

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


2

stave

verb

Definition of stave

staved or stove play \ˈstōv\; staving
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

Recent Examples of stave from the Web

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.

First Known Use of stave

circa 1595



STAVE Defined for English Language Learners

stave

noun

Definition of stave for English Language Learners

  • : one of the narrow strips of wood that form the sides of a barrel

  • : a long wooden stick


STAVE Defined for Kids

1

stave

noun \ ˈstāv \

Definition of stave for Students

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

2

stave

verb

Definition of stave for Students

staved or stove \ˈstōv\; staving
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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