stay

noun (1)
\ ˈstā How to pronounce stay (audio) \

Definition of stay

 (Entry 1 of 6)

1 : a large strong rope usually of wire used to support a mast

stay

verb (1)
stayed; staying; stays

Definition of stay (Entry 2 of 6)

transitive verb

1 : to secure upright with or as if with stays
2 : to incline (a mast) forward, aft, or to one side by the stays

intransitive verb

: to go about : tack

stay

verb (2)
stayed\ ˈstād How to pronounce stay (audio) \ also staid\ ˈstād How to pronounce stay (audio) \; staying

Definition of stay (Entry 3 of 6)

intransitive verb

1 : to stop going forward : pause
2 : to stop doing something : cease
3 : to continue in a place or condition : remain stayed up all night went for a short vacation but stayed on for weeks stay put till I come back
4 : to stand firm
5 : to take up residence : lodge
6 : to keep even in a contest or rivalry stay with the leaders
7 : to call a poker bet without raising
8 obsolete : to be in waiting or attendance

transitive verb

1 : to wait for : await
2 : to stick or remain with (a race, a trial of endurance, etc.) to the end usually used in the phrase stay the course
3 : to remain during stayed the whole time
4a : to stop or delay the proceeding or advance of by or as if by interposing an obstacle : halt
b : to check the course of (something, such as a disease)
c : allay, pacify stayed tempers
d : to quiet the hunger of temporarily

stay

noun (2)

Definition of stay (Entry 4 of 6)

1a : the action of halting : the state of being stopped
b : a stopping or suspension of procedure or execution by judicial or executive order
2 obsolete : self-control, moderation
3 : a residence or sojourn in a place
4 : capacity for endurance

stay

noun (3)

Definition of stay (Entry 5 of 6)

1 : one that serves as a prop : support
2 : a thin firm strip (as of plastic) used for stiffening a garment or part (such as a shirt collar)
3 : a corset stiffened with bones usually used in plural

stay

verb (3)
stayed; staying; stays

Definition of stay (Entry 6 of 6)

transitive verb

1 : to provide physical or moral support for : sustain
2 : to fix on something as a foundation

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Verb (2)

defer, postpone, suspend, stay mean to delay an action or proceeding. defer implies a deliberate putting off to a later time. deferred buying a car until spring postpone implies an intentional deferring usually to a definite time. the game is postponed until Saturday suspend implies temporary stoppage with an added suggestion of waiting until some condition is satisfied. business will be suspended while repairs are underway stay often suggests the stopping or checking by an intervening agency or authority. the governor stayed the execution

First Known Use of stay

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

1627, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1536, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (3)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (3)

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stay

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English stæg; akin to Old Norse stag stay

Verb (2)

Middle English, from Anglo-French estei-, estai-, stem of ester to stand, stay, from Latin stare — more at stand

Noun (3)

Middle English, from Middle French estaie, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle Dutch stake pole, Middle Low German stak post, stake pole — more at stake

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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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Dictionary Entries Near stay

staw

stay

stay-at-home

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Cite this Entry

“Stay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stay. Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for stay

stay

verb
\ ˈstā How to pronounce stay (audio) \
stayed; staying

Kids Definition of stay

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : to remain after others have gone She stayed after the party to help.
2 : to continue in a place or condition We stayed friends for many years. … you just learn to blend in, stay out of the way …— John David Anderson, Ms. Bixby's Last Day
3 : to stop going forward : pause He instructed the dog to stay.
4 : to live for a while I'm staying with friends.
5 : to put a stop to The governor stayed the execution.

stay

noun

Kids Definition of stay (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : a period of living in a place Our stay in the country was too short.
2 : the action of bringing to a stop : the state of being stopped a stay of the execution

stay

noun

Kids Definition of stay (Entry 3 of 5)

: a strong rope or wire used to steady or brace something (as a mast)

stay

noun

Kids Definition of stay (Entry 4 of 5)

2 : a thin firm strip (as of steel or plastic) used to stiffen a garment (as a corset) or part of a garment (as a shirt collar)

stay

verb
stayed; staying

Kids Definition of stay (Entry 5 of 5)

: to hold up Supports stayed the sign.

stay

transitive verb
stayed; staying

Legal Definition of stay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to temporarily suspend or prevent by judicial or executive order may not grant an injunction to stay proceedings in a State courtU.S. Code

stay

noun

Legal Definition of stay (Entry 2 of 2)

: a temporary suspension or injunction of an action or process by a usually discretionary judicial or executive order a stay of execution of the judgment stay of a lower court's judgment pending certiorari— W. J. Brennan, Jr. — see also automatic stay — compare cease-and-desist order at order sense 3b, mandamus, supersedeas

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