\ ˈsted How to pronounce stead (audio) \

Definition of stead

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the office, place, or function ordinarily occupied or carried out by someone or something else acted in his brother's stead
2 : advantage used chiefly in the phrase to stand one in good stead
3 obsolete : locality, place


steaded; steading; steads

Definition of stead (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to be of avail to : help

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of stead in a Sentence

Noun a summer internship will stand you in good stead when applying to college
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As cancellations stack up, virtual alternatives have emerged in their stead, offering not only outlets for fans stuck at home and hungry for entertainment but also a glimpse at the future. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Is This Real Life? E-Racing Takes the Wheel," 16 May 2020 The 2020 Cleveland International Piano Competition has been postponed to next year, and a virtual contest has been mounted in its stead. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "2020 Cleveland International Piano Competition postponed until next year; virtual contest to be staged this summer," 1 May 2020 The 31-year-old is now 14 pounds heavier from the first fight and is confident his preparations will stand him in good stead. Don Riddell And Ben Church, CNN, "'Hungry lion' Tyson Fury promises to knock out Deontay Wilder in their much-anticipated rematch," 21 Feb. 2020 His rhymes, with the high school themes and delivered with an authority that belied his lack of experience, stood him in good stead. Chuck Yarborough, cleveland, "24th annual Tri-C High School Rock Off gets off to rousing start with stiff competition," 2 Feb. 2020 Both of these changes will stand France in good stead. The Economist, "No surrender Emmanuel Macron should not give in to the strikers paralysing Paris," 11 Jan. 2020 Sanders's victory places him in good stead for the Nevada caucuses, which will be held on Feb. 22. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "Bernie Sanders prevails in New Hampshire," 11 Feb. 2020 Her golden retriever Bailey, a campaign celebrity, stayed to be photographed in her stead. Molly Ball/iowa City, Time, "Elizabeth Warren's Iowa Comeback Pitch," 2 Feb. 2020 The Harris County Flood Control District is negotiating to acquire Raveneaux Country Club in northwest Houston, a move that would take away the golf course, but place in its stead a detention basin to help with flooding in the area. Paul Wedding, Houston Chronicle, "County planning to acquire Raveneaux Country Club for more drainage," 16 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The festivities come at a time when residents in Seabrook are steading themselves for big changes when construction begins for the expansion of Texas 146. Jaimy Jones, Houston Chronicle, "Seabrook event carries special meaning this year," 31 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stead.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of stead


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stead


Middle English stede, from Old English; akin to Old High German stat place, Old English standan to stand — more at stand

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stead

Time Traveler for stead

Time Traveler

The first known use of stead was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for stead

Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stead.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stead


\ ˈsted How to pronounce stead (audio) \

Kids Definition of stead

1 : advantage
Hint: This sense of stead is used mostly in the phrase stand someone in good stead.
Buck's marvellous quickness and agility stood him in good stead.— Jack London, The Call of the Wild
2 : the place usually taken or duty carried out by the person or thing mentioned I'll work in your stead.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on stead

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stead

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stead

Spanish Central: Translation of stead

Nglish: Translation of stead for Spanish Speakers

Comments on stead

What made you want to look up stead? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!