stew·​ard | \ ˈstü-ərd How to pronounce steward (audio) , 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

Noun 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. Verb will steward the city's library programs
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The city agency, which manages 61,000 acres of real estate from the coastal hills to the Sierra, sees itself not only as a manager of water and wastewater but a steward of the land. Kurtis Alexander,, "SF breaks ground on nature center near Sunol to spotlight its water," 26 June 2020 Rotary Park is owned by the city, but the Mequon-Thiensville Sunrise Rotary acts as its steward. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A herd of 38 goats is helping landscape a Mequon park by chewing away weeds," 24 June 2020 Say a fifth person tries to squeeze in, the steward will be tasked with managing the situation so safety limits are kept. Rachel King, Fortune, "How to reopen your business so it’s safe for both employees and customers," 3 June 2020 The machinists union, meanwhile, has been briefing hundreds of its stewards about when and how to stop work if there’s a serious hazard. Julie Johnsson,, "Boeing to Limit N95 Masks for Returning Workers, Stoking Concern," 5 May 2020 The only difference is that academics and our cultural stewards have whitewashed one of them. David Harsanyi, National Review, "How Can Bernie Sanders Happen in America?," 26 Feb. 2020 The Anne Frank House has served as a key steward of the diarist’s legacy since opening in 1960. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why the Anne Frank House Is Reimagining the Young Diarist as a Vlogger," 24 Apr. 2020 They are trusted to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and to ensure the state’s infrastructure is built to last and is safe for drivers. USA TODAY, "Fallen hero honored, manatees rescued, rabid bats on campus, hungry bears not hibernating: News from around our 50 states," 24 Feb. 2020 My advice would be: Part of being a responsible citizen is also being good stewards of our own health, to the extent where that’s possible. The Atlantic, "Listen: What Will the Summer Be Like?," 17 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb One of our primary responsibilities at the Department of the Interior is to steward our nation’s historical treasures and preserve landmarks central to our national identity and culture. David L. Bernhardt, USA TODAY, "National Parks preserve legacy of African American history, civil rights," 25 Feb. 2020 Sometimes, all the candidates are deeply flawed, and a judgment is required of how to steward faithfully one’s democratic privileges. Andrew T. Walker, National Review, "Understanding Why Religious Conservatives Would Vote for Trump," 10 Feb. 2020 To steward such a machine would take observation and continuous operation over decades and centuries. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "This Guy Is Pretty Sure His Time Machine Would Work," 6 Jan. 2020 Regardless of the exact technical specifications, though, a digital yuan stewarded by the PBOC could provide the Chinese government with unfettered access to its people’s finances. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "What China could gain from a digital yuan," 19 Sep. 2019 The Agnellis are often dubbed Italy’s royal family, and have stewarded Fiat and its offshoots since paterfamilias Giovanni Agnelli founded the carmaker 120 years ago. Alex Webb | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "How Can Berlusconi’s Mediaset Stay Italian? By Becoming Dutch," 10 June 2019 These acts of kindness are a symbol of stewarding God’s gift of grace. Madeline Mitchell,, "'How are you being like Jesus in the world?' Church hands out checks to congregation," 21 Oct. 2019 The National Study on Congregations’ Economic Practices aims to understand the efficiencies in place that make the most of that money, and how religious leaders steward those gifts while serving their members and communities at large. Denise Coffey,, "St. James Participates In National Study," 23 Sep. 2019 Travel for good Vancouver exists on the unceded territories of First Nations, who hold long-term relationships with their lands and have stewarded local environments since time immemorial. Lauren Eckert, National Geographic, "See Vancouver like a Nat Geo Explorer," 27 June 2019

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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Time Traveler for steward

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for steward

Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Steward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for steward


How to pronounce steward (audio)

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 How to pronounce steward (audio) , 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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More from Merriam-Webster on steward

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for steward

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with steward

Spanish Central: Translation of steward

Nglish: Translation of steward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of steward for Arabic Speakers

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