stew·​ard·​ship | \ ˈstü-ərd-ˌship How to pronounce stewardship (audio) , ˈstyü-; ˈst(y)u̇rd-\

Definition of stewardship

1 : the office, duties, and obligations of a steward
2 : the conducting, supervising, or managing of something especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care stewardship of natural resources

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Good Stewardship

When stewardship first appeared in English during the Middle Ages, it functioned as a job description, denoting the office of a steward, or manager of a large household. Over the centuries, its range of reference spread to the oversight of law courts, employee unions, college dining halls, Masonic lodges, and many other organizations. In recent years, the long-established "management" sense of stewardship has evolved a positive meaning, “careful and responsible management.” This sense is commonly found nowadays in contexts such as “stewardship of the environment, the family business,” etc. It also occasionally appears as an adjective in phrases such as “stewardship fundraising" (that is, fundraising aimed at building good relationships with donors in order to keep them loyal).

Examples of stewardship in a Sentence

generally the dean left the day-to-day stewardship of the college to the assistant dean she believes that stewardship of the environment is everyone's responsibility

Recent Examples on the Web

This was a minefield for Buttigieg, and talking about his stewardship of South Bend, Indiana, after police shot and killed a black man was inevitable. Aaron Blake,, "Winners? Losers? Miami’s debate had both," 28 June 2019 Presented since 1971, the annual award recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship projects undertaken by kindergarten to 12th grade students, honoring young people for protecting the nation’s air, water, and land. John Laidler,, "Ipswich Green Team wins national award," 9 June 2019 Creditors have also criticized Mr. Lampert’s stewardship of Sears, which the hedge fund manager purchased in 2005 and combined with Kmart. Suzanne Kapner, WSJ, "Sears Entertaining Offers From Liquidators as ESL, Cyrus Prepare Takeover Bid," 28 Nov. 2018 See what fans had to say about their other similarities below: Sansa’s hair completely down (vs complicated looks of her youth & severe pinbacks of Winterfell stewardship) took my breath away. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sansa Stark's Finale Hairstyle Had a Queen Elizabeth I Connection," 20 May 2019 Trump has yet to sell the country on the value of his stewardship. Howard Fineman, NBC News, "The ‘state’ of Donald Trump? He thinks it couldn’t be better.," 30 Jan. 2018 But native Hawaiians and their supporters, disturbed by the ever-growing population of observatories and poor past stewardship of the mountain, protested and appealed. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Hawaiian Supreme Court gives go-ahead to giant telescope," 1 Nov. 2018 Because of his infirmity, stewardship of the organization had been given to one of his 12 sons, Sirajuddin, whose military prowess is credited with plotting and carrying out some of more audacious attacks assigned to the network. Kathy Gannon, The Seattle Times, "Death of Afghan group’s founder unlikely to weaken militants," 4 Sep. 2018 Malone-France says the Historic Trust has found a diversified economy is needed to support ongoing preservation of house museums, with four or five different revenue streams contributing to preservation and stewardship. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Rethinking the modern house museum," 12 Oct. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for stewardship

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for stewardship

The first known use of stewardship was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of stewardship

: the activity or job of protecting and being responsible for something

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More from Merriam-Webster on stewardship

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stewardship

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stewardship

Nglish: Translation of stewardship for Spanish Speakers

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