adjective stead·fast \ ˈsted-ˌfast also -fəst \
|Updated on: 2 Aug 2018

Definition of steadfast

1 a : firmly fixed in place : immovable
b : not subject to change
  • the steadfast doctrine of original sin
  • —Ellen Glasgow
2 : firm in belief, determination, or adherence : loyal
  • her followers have remained steadfast




play \ˈsted-ˌfas(t)-nəs, -fəs(t)-\ noun

steadfast was our Word of the Day on 07/17/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of steadfast in a Sentence

  1. He was steadfast in his support of the governor's policies.

  2. a steadfast supporter of women's rights

Recent Examples of steadfast from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Steadfast has held its ground in English for many centuries. Its Old English predecessor, stedefæst, combined stede (meaning "place" or "stead") and fæst (meaning "firmly fixed"). An Old English text of the late 10th century, called The Battle of Maldon, contains our earliest record of the word, which was first used in battle contexts to describe warriors who stood their ground. Soon, it was also being used with the broad meaning "immovable," and as early as the 13th century it was applied to those unswerving in loyalty, faith, or friendship. Centuries later, all of these meanings endure.

Origin and Etymology of steadfast

Middle English stedefast, from Old English stedefæst, from stede + fæst fixed, fast

Synonym Discussion of steadfast

faithful, loyal, constant, staunch, steadfast, resolute mean firm in adherence to whatever one owes allegiance. faithful implies unswerving adherence to a person or thing or to the oath or promise by which a tie was contracted.
    • faithful to her promise
loyal implies a firm resistance to any temptation to desert or betray.
    • remained loyal to the czar
constant stresses continuing firmness of emotional attachment without necessarily implying strict obedience to promises or vows.
    • constant friends
staunch suggests fortitude and resolution in adherence and imperviousness to influences that would weaken it.
    • a staunch defender of free speech
steadfast implies a steady and unwavering course in love, allegiance, or conviction.
    • steadfast in their support
resolute implies firm determination to adhere to a cause or purpose.
    • a resolute ally

STEADFAST Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of steadfast for English Language Learners

  • : very devoted or loyal to a person, belief, or cause : not changing

STEADFAST Defined for Kids


adjective stead·fast \ ˈsted-ˌfast \

Definition of steadfast for Students

1 : not changing : resolute
  • a steadfast refusal
2 : loyal
  • steadfast friends





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having an air of easy unconcern

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