stew·ard | \ ˈstü-ərd , ˈstyü- ; ˈst(y)u̇rd \

Definition of steward 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one employed in a large household or estate to manage domestic concerns (such as the supervision of servants, collection of rents, and keeping of accounts)

3 : a fiscal agent

4a : an employee on a ship, airplane, bus, or train who manages the provisioning of food and attends passengers

b : one appointed to supervise the provision and distribution of food and drink in an institution

5 : one who actively directs affairs : manager


stewarded; stewarding; stewards

Definition of steward (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to act as a steward for : manage

intransitive verb

: to perform the duties of a steward

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Examples of steward in a Sentence


the steward of their investments teaching our children to be good stewards of the land the steward of the estate The race stewards are reviewing the results.


will steward the city's library programs
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

According to Daniela Virgona, a 47-year-old third-generation farmer in Salina, the product is so difficult to grow that only the most dedicated stewards are willing to do it. Howie Kahn, Smithsonian, "These Volcanic, Italian Islands Have Been Beloved by Travelers Since Homeric Times," 11 July 2018 In a bid to defend his reputation as a good steward of the economy, Mr. Erdogan has hailed progress on construction of the world’s largest airport hub near Istanbul, and heralded other big construction plans. David Gauthier-villars, WSJ, "Turkey’s Erdogan Strains to Turn Strongman Rule Into Dominance at Polls," 22 June 2018 State Treasurer John Chiang branded himself as the candidate who would continue Brown's legacy as a staunch fiscal steward for the state. Angela Hart, sacbee, "Gavin Newsom heads toward general election in California governor's race," 5 June 2018 More than 1,500 people qualified to receive portions of the fund, which are being given as gifts with no strings attached, fund stewards said. Ron Hurtibise,, "Parkland victims' fund distribution ranges from $400,000 to $1,000 each," 2 July 2018 The four that left to start G2VP remain the stewards of those companies, according to Porter. Kirsten Korosec, Fortune, "Kleiner Perkins Venture Firm Spin Off G2VP Raises $350 Million For Its First Fund," 12 June 2018 In choosing a buyer, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Cliveden Inc., co-stewards of Upsala, said the new owners needed previous preservation experience and the financial ability to take care of the property. Stephanie Farr,, "Couple's historic Philly home came with an unusual caveat: Annual battle reenactments | We the People," 23 May 2018 As their impact on public life has become more obvious and more complicated, these companies are grappling with how best to be stewards of public culture, a responsibility that was not evident to them—or us—at the start. Tarleton Gillespie, WIRED, "How Social Networks Set the Limits of What We Can Say Online," 26 June 2018 From the start, Special Liberty trips and events have included an educational component to teach participants to be good stewards of the environment. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Nonprofit links veterans to youths who lost military parent," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The event benefits the Great Land Trust, an organization whose mission is to conserve and steward local lands and waterways. Yoshina Okamoto, Anchorage Daily News, "Celebrating summer solstice: Here are parties and events around Alaska," 21 June 2018 Because of nuclear test bans, the only legit way to stop worrying and learn to steward the bomb supply is to simulate—on a supercomputer—what’s going on inside. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "Cosmic Ray Showers Crash Supercomputers. Here's What to Do About It," 4 June 2018 Oswalt helped steward the book’s completion, with the help of a journalist, Billy Jensen, and a researcher, Paul Haynes. Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post, "She stalked the Golden State Killer until she died. Some think her work led to the suspect’s arrest.," 26 Apr. 2018 The club steward reportedly locked the food in the pantry and refused to serve them. William Stadiem, Town & Country, "Can Harvard's Storied Final Clubs Resist the Tides of Change?," 2 Aug. 2016 Duffy notes that social media specialists’ roles are not simply to steward a brand’s presence on social media, but to act as a personal round-the-clock ambassador for the brand. Jessi Hempel, WIRED, "How Social Media Became a Pink Collar Job," 26 May 2018 Grizzlies have been stewarded successfully in Greater Yellowstone without hunting for four decades. National Geographic, "Yellowstone-Area Grizzly Bears to Be Hunted for First Time in Decades," 24 May 2018 Visitors will be helped by a team of 140 Royal Borough ambassadors who have volunteered to help steward the event and assist visitors throughout the day. Katie Nicholl, Vanities, "Royal Wedding: All the Date, Time, and Streaming Info a Royal-Obsessive Needs," 11 May 2018 Uber, which hasn’t had a CFO since 2015, needs a finance head to help steward an initial public offering planned for 2019. Greg Bensinger, WSJ, "Uber Stumbles in Lengthy CFO Search Ahead of IPO," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'steward.' 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 steward


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


1621, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for steward


Middle English, from Old English stīweard, from stī, stig hall, sty + weard ward — more at sty, ward

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Phrases Related to steward

wine steward

Statistics for steward

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for steward

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

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More Definitions for steward



English Language Learners Definition of steward

: a person and especially a man whose job is to serve meals and take care of passengers on a train, airplane, or ship

: someone who protects or is responsible for money, property, etc.

: a person whose job is to manage the land and property of another person


stew·ard | \ ˈstü-ərd , ˈstyü- \

Kids Definition of steward

1 : a manager of a very large home, an estate, or an organization

2 : a person employed to manage the supply and distribution of food and look after the needs of passengers (as on an airplane or ship)



Legal Definition of steward 

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Comments on steward

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


the setting in which something occurs

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