stur·​dy ˈstər-dē How to pronounce sturdy (audio)
sturdier; sturdiest
: firmly built or constituted : stout
: hardy
sturdy plants
: sound in design or execution : substantial
: marked by or reflecting physical strength or vigor
sturdily adverb
sturdiness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for sturdy

strong, stout, sturdy, stalwart, tough, tenacious mean showing power to resist or to endure.

strong may imply power derived from muscular vigor, large size, structural soundness, intellectual or spiritual resources.

strong arms
the defense has a strong case

stout suggests an ability to endure stress, pain, or hard use without giving way.

stout hiking boots

sturdy implies strength derived from vigorous growth, determination of spirit, solidity of construction.

a sturdy table
people of sturdy independence

stalwart suggests an unshakable dependability.

stalwart environmentalists

tough implies great firmness and resiliency.

a tough political opponent

tenacious suggests strength in seizing, retaining, clinging to, or holding together.

tenacious farmers clinging to an age-old way of life

Example Sentences

a dog with a strong sturdy build it took a sturdy person to endure the life of a pioneer
Recent Examples on the Web During testing, the exterior nylon material resembled the feel of an inflatable raft and the zipper teeth felt sturdy and watertight. Anna Popp, Travel + Leisure, 27 Jan. 2023 Very durable, sturdy, and made of high quality leather. Halie Lesavage, Harper's BAZAAR, 25 Jan. 2023 Alo Yoga’s luxe Accolade sweats have a thick, sturdy, and stretchy construction. Sarah Madaus, SELF, 24 Jan. 2023 Shot primarily in Manitoba, the U.S. production has sturdy, handsome, unshowy design elements that reinforce its tonal slant as more a depressing tale of very bad familial luck than an overt dive into the fantastical. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 24 Jan. 2023 The cinematography and editing are no more than sturdy and functional. Caryn James, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Jan. 2023 The result is a car that falls between sturdy enough to play with and detailed enough to display. Sal Vaglica, Car and Driver, 21 Jan. 2023 The mug, while weighing a heavy 1 pound, 7 ounces, has a sturdy handle that will help decrease the risk of dropping the vessel. Maura Fox, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Nov. 2022 Both typically feature a sturdy handle made of wood or a composite material, with a steel head attached. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 18 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sturdy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English, brave, stubborn, from Anglo-French esturdi stunned, from past participle of esturdir to stun, from Vulgar Latin *exturdire, from Latin ex- + Vulgar Latin *turdus simpleton, from Latin turdus thrush — more at thrush

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of sturdy was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near sturdy

Cite this Entry

“Sturdy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


stur·​dy ˈstərd-ē How to pronounce sturdy (audio)
sturdier; sturdiest
: firmly built or made
a sturdy ship
: strong and healthy in body : hardy, robust
: firm entry 1 sense 3, resolute
sturdy self-reliance
sturdily adjective
sturdiness noun

Medical Definition


stur·​dy ˈstərd-ē How to pronounce sturdy (audio)
plural sturdies
: gid

More from Merriam-Webster on sturdy

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