Synonyms & Antonyms of stay

(Entry 1 of 4)

1 to continue to be in a place for a significant amount of time
  • let's stay inside this pavilion until it stops raining

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3 to remain in place in readiness or expectation of something
  • we'll stay for a while longer and see if anyone shows up

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Phrases Synonymous with stay

4 to reside as a temporary guest
  • let's stay at a quaint inn rather than at some generic motel

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Synonyms of stay (Entry 2 of 4)

to hold up or serve as a foundation for
  • beams being used to stay the bridge while it is undergoing repairs

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Synonyms & Antonyms of stay (Entry 3 of 4)

1 a temporary residing as another's guest
  • my mother-in-law is coming for a brief stay next week

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2 the stopping of a process or activity
  • we must work without stay if we are ever to reach our goal of equal rights for everyone

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Antonyms for stay

Synonyms of stay (Entry 4 of 4)

a structure that holds up or serves as a foundation for something else
  • a free press is one of the principal stays of a democratic society

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About stay

How is the word stay distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of stay are defer, postpone, and suspend. While all these words mean "to delay an action or proceeding," stay often suggests the stopping or checking by an intervening agency or authority.

the governor stayed the execution

When might defer be a better fit than stay?

The words defer and stay are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, defer implies a deliberate putting off to a later time.

deferred buying a car until spring

When would postpone be a good substitute for stay?

The meanings of postpone and stay largely overlap; however, postpone implies an intentional deferring usually to a definite time.

the game is postponed until Saturday

Where would suspend be a reasonable alternative to stay?

The words suspend and stay can be used in similar contexts, but suspend implies temporary stoppage with an added suggestion of waiting until some condition is satisfied.

business will be suspended while repairs are underway

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Time Traveler for stay

Time Traveler

The first known use of stay was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Stay.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on stay

Dictionary: Definition of stay

Nglish: Translation of stay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stay for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about stay

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