\ˈsted \

Definition of stead 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 obsolete : locality, place

2 : advantage used chiefly in the phrase to stand one in good stead

3 : the office, place, or function ordinarily occupied or carried out by someone or something else acted in his brother's stead


steaded; steading; steads

Definition of stead (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to be of avail to : help

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Examples of stead in a Sentence


a summer internship will stand you in good stead when applying to college

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Perhaps, in Whedon’s stead and in the wake of all the controversy, DC will hire a female director to helm Batgirl. Yohana Desta, HWD, "Joss Whedon Defends His Controversial Wonder Woman Script: “I Think It’s Great”," 24 Apr. 2018 The temperament will serve him in good stead if on the high court where ideological disagreements can be even more intense. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Who Is Brett Kavanaugh?," 9 July 2018 Any lingering chance for Napier's return on a new deal extinguished once Portland struck agreements with two other guards (Seth Curry and Nik Stauskas) in his stead. Rob Mahoney,, "The Best Players Left in NBA Free Agency," 9 July 2018 His running mate, Valerie Ervin, decided to run in his stead after his death. Pamela Wood,, "Democratic ballot for Maryland governor offers a rare crowded field that includes Kevin Kamenetz," 26 June 2018 Although Estes did not attend the board meeting, her partner, Amy Kronson, came in her stead. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "Rocklin Unified community defends bullied lesbian teacher, calls for change," 14 June 2018 That cocaine epidemic Gemayel mentioned might be over, but Macklovitch can’t help but note that there’s an opioid crisis in its stead. James Grebey, GQ, "Chromeo Are Here Because You Need Funk in Your Life," 12 June 2018 Being of sound mind, gangled (sic) nerves, and nothing but pitie (sic) on those that read this and especially those that must carry on in my stead. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "Real estate tycoon Cotter leaves behind tangled empire, fight over assets after his death," 11 June 2018 The opposition would also boycott the vote if Mr Ortega nominates his wife, Ms Murillo, to run in his stead. The Economist, "Time is running out for Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega," 9 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of stead


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

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Dictionary Entries near stead


St. Denis






Statistics for stead

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stead

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

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More Definitions for stead


\ˈsted \

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.

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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).


a state of commotion or excitement

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