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 temptations of being a steward include a lack of diligence (Matthew 25:14-30). Jerry Bowyer, National Review, "Defending Pensions," 18 Sep. 2020 Frans’ idea is for the state to be a model employer with a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of those served, and to be a responsible steward of public resources. Chuck Slocum, Star Tribune, "Pandemic has added fuel to government debt fire," 23 Aug. 2020 Davis’ sixth year as the steward of the longstanding preview show was expected to start with a bang. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "College football moves on without Michigan football, MSU," 5 Sep. 2020 Colleagues praised his role as a mentor, helping to set policy as a union steward and offering advice to colleagues between broadcasts. Neal Justin, Star Tribune, "Bill Hudson, WCCO's 'newsroom dad,' announces his retirement," 29 Aug. 2020 The conservancy acquired 1,200 acres in Big Sur with the hope of finding an environmentally conscious steward. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, "Points of Progress: Esselen Tribe reclaims land, and more," 21 Aug. 2020 George Washington was a deeply responsible steward of his own charisma, uncomfortable with the personality cult that grew up around him. Ian Beacock, The New Republic, "Can Democracy Handle Charisma?," 17 Aug. 2020 Nate Castro, a postal staffer and union shop steward in Florida with more than three decades of experience, said the rationale behind DeJoy's policy changes has been unclear. Arkansas Online, "Postal Service halts some operational changes amid outcry," 18 Aug. 2020 Nate Castro, a postal staffer and union shop steward in Florida with more than three decades of experience, said the rationale behind DeJoy’s policy changes has been unclear. Lisa Mascaro And Matthew Daly,, "Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to testify before Senate panel on Friday as Democrats, key Republicans sound the alarm about mail delays," 18 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While there is a tradition of librarians and archivists stealing from collections they are meant to steward, not since the 1930s had a dealer as highly reputed as Schulman been implicated. Travis Mcdade, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Inside Story of the $8 Million Heist From the Carnegie Library," 18 Aug. 2020 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

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

21 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Steward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 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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