Definition of stewardship
- stewardship of natural resources
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
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.
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).
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