stewardship

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

First Known Use of stewardship

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stewardship

Statistics for stewardship

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stewardship

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stewardship

stewardship

noun

English Language Learners Definition of stewardship

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on stewardship

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a wrong name or inappropriate designation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!