Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To continue to be in a place or condition: stay home; stay calm.
  • intransitive v. To remain or sojourn as a guest or lodger: stayed at a motel.
  • intransitive v. To stop moving; halt.
  • intransitive v. To wait; pause.
  • intransitive v. To endure or persist: stayed with the original plan.
  • intransitive v. To keep up in a race or contest: tried to stay with the lead runner.
  • intransitive v. Games To meet a bet in poker without raising it.
  • intransitive v. To stand one's ground; remain firm.
  • intransitive v. Archaic To cease from a specified activity.
  • transitive v. To stop or halt; check.
  • transitive v. To postpone; delay.
  • transitive v. To delay or stop the effect of (an order, for example) by legal action or mandate: stay a prisoner's execution.
  • transitive v. To satisfy or appease temporarily: stayed his anger.
  • transitive v. To remain during: stayed the week with my parents; stayed the duration of the game.
  • transitive v. To wait for; await: "I will not stay thy questions. Let me go;/Or if thou follow me, do not believe/But I shall do thee mischief in the wood” ( Shakespeare).
  • n. The act of halting; check.
  • n. The act of coming to a halt.
  • n. A brief period of residence or visiting.
  • n. A suspension or postponement of a legal action or an execution: granted a stay to the prisoner's execution.
  • idiom stay put To remain in a fixed or established position.
  • idiom stay the course To hold out or persevere to the end of a race or challenge.
  • transitive v. To brace, support, or prop up.
  • transitive v. To strengthen or sustain mentally or spiritually.
  • transitive v. To rest or fix on for support.
  • n. A support or brace.
  • n. A strip of bone, plastic, or metal, used to stiffen a garment or part, such as a corset or shirt collar.
  • n. A corset.
  • n. Nautical A heavy rope or cable, usually of wire, used as a brace or support for a mast or spar.
  • n. A rope used to steady, guide, or brace.
  • transitive v. Nautical To put (a ship) on the opposite tack or to come about.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A strong rope supporting a mast, and leading from the head of one mast down to some other, or other part of the vessel.
  • n. A guy, rope, or wire supporting or stabilizing a platform, such as a bridge, a pole, such as a tentpole, the mast of a derrick, or other structural element.
  • n. The transverse piece in a link.
  • v. To incline forward, aft, or to one side by means of stays.
  • v. To tack; put on the other tack.
  • v. To change; tack; go about; be in stays, as a ship.
  • v. To prop; support; sustain; hold up; steady.
  • v. To stop; detain; keep back; delay; hinder.
  • v. To restrain; withhold; check; stop.
  • v. To put off; defer; postpone; delay; keep back.
  • v. To hold the attention of.
  • v. To bear; brook; undergo; abide; stand; hold out through or during.
  • v. To wait for; await.
  • v. To rest; depend; rely.
  • v. To stop; come to a stand or standstill.
  • v. To come to an end; cease; blin.
  • v. To delay; linger; tarry; wait.
  • v. To make a stand; stand.
  • v. To hold out, as in a race or contest; last or persevere to the end.
  • v. To remain in a particular place, especially for an indefinite time; sojourn; abide.
  • v. To wait; rest in patience or expectation.
  • v. To wait as an attendant; give ceremonious or submissive attendance.
  • v. To continue to have a particular quality.
  • n. A prop; a support.
  • n. A fastening for a garment; a hook; a clasp; anything to hang another thing on.
  • n. That which holds or restrains; obstacle; check; hindrance; restraint.
  • n. A stop; a halt; a break or cessation of action, motion, or progress.
  • n. A postponement, especially of an execution or other punishment.
  • n. A standstill; a state of rest; entire cessation of motion or progress.
  • n. A fixed state; fixedness; stability; permanence.
  • n. Continuance or a period of time spent in a place; abode for an indefinite time; sojourn.
  • n. A station or fixed anchorage for vessels.
  • n. A state; fixed condition.
  • n. Restraint of passion; prudence; moderation; caution; steadiness; sobriety.
  • n. A piece of stiff material, such as plastic or whalebone, used to stiffen a piece of clothing.
  • adj. Steep; ascending.
  • adj. (of a roof) Steeply pitched.
  • adj. Difficult to negotiate; not easy to access; sheer.
  • adj. Stiff; upright; unbending; reserved; haughty; proud.
  • adv. Steeply.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A large, strong rope, employed to support a mast, by being extended from the head of one mast down to some other, or to some part of the vessel. Those which lead forward are called fore-and-aft stays; those which lead to the vessel's side are called backstays. See Illust. of ship.
  • transitive v. To stop from motion or falling; to prop; to fix firmly; to hold up; to support.
  • transitive v. To support from sinking; to sustain with strength; to satisfy in part or for the time.
  • transitive v. To bear up under; to endure; to support; to resist successfully.
  • transitive v. To hold from proceeding; to withhold; to restrain; to stop; to hold.
  • transitive v. To hinder; to delay; to detain; to keep back.
  • transitive v. To remain for the purpose of; to wait for.
  • transitive v. To cause to cease; to put an end to.
  • transitive v. To fasten or secure with stays.
  • transitive v. To tack, as a vessel, so that the other side of the vessel shall be presented to the wind.
  • intransitive v. To remain; to continue in a place; to abide fixed for a space of time; to stop; to stand still.
  • intransitive v. To continue in a state.
  • intransitive v. To wait; to attend; to forbear to act.
  • intransitive v. To dwell; to tarry; to linger.
  • intransitive v. To rest; to depend; to rely; to stand; to insist.
  • intransitive v. To come to an end; to cease.
  • intransitive v. To hold out in a race or other contest.
  • intransitive v. To change tack, as a ship.
  • n. That which serves as a prop; a support.
  • n. A corset stiffened with whalebone or other material, worn by women, and rarely by men.
  • n. Continuance in a place; abode for a space of time; sojourn.
  • n. Cessation of motion or progression; stand; stop.
  • n. Hindrance; let; check.
  • n. Restraint of passion; moderation; caution; steadiness; sobriety.
  • n. Strictly, a part in tension to hold the parts together, or stiffen them.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Nautical, a strong rope used to support a mast, and leading from the head of one mast down to some other, or to some part of the vessel.
  • n. A rope used for a similar purpose; a guy supporting the mast of a, derrick, a telegraphpole, or the like.
  • n. In a chain-cable, the transverse piece in a link.
  • Naut: To incline forward, aft, or to one side by means of stays: as, to stay a mast.
  • To tack; put on the other tack: as, to stay ship.
  • Nautical, to change tack; go about; be in stays, as a ship.
  • n. A prop; a support.
  • n. Specifically— In building, a piece performing the office of a brace, to prevent the swerving or lateral deviation of the piece to which it is applied.
  • n. In steam-engines: A rod, bar. bolt, or gusset in a boiler, to hold two parts together against the pressure of steam: as, a tube-stay; a water-space stay.
  • n. One of the sling-rods connecting a locomotive-boiler to its frame.
  • n. A rod, beneath the boiler, supporting the inside bearings of the crank-axle of a locomotive.
  • n. In mining, a piece of wood used to secure the pump to an engine-shaft.
  • n. In some hollow-castings, a spindle which forms a support for the core.
  • n. In anatomy and zoology, technically, a prop or support: as, the bony stay of the operculum of a mail-cheeked fish, or cottoid. This is an enlarged suborbital bone which crosses the cheek and articulates with the præoperculum in the mail-cheeked fishes. See Cottoidea, Scleropariæ.
  • n. plural A kind of waistcoat, stiffened with whalebone or other material, now worn chiefly by women and girls to support and give shape to the body, but formerly worn also by men.
  • n. A fastening for a garment; hence, a hook; a clasp; anything to hang another thing on.
  • n. That which holds or restrains; obstacle; check; hindrance; restraint.
  • n. A stop; a halt; a break or cessation of action, motion, or progression: as, the court granted a stay.
  • n. A standstill; a state of rest; entire cessation of motion or progress: used chiefly in the phrase at a stay.
  • n. A fixed state; fixedness; stability; permanence.
  • n. Continuance in a place; abode for an indefinite time; sojourn: as, you make a short stay in the city.
  • n. A station or fixed anchorage for vessels.
  • n. State; fixed condition.
  • n. Restraint of passion; prudence; moderation; caution; steadiness; sobriety.
  • n. Synonyms See staff.
  • n. Pause, etc. See stop.
  • To prop; support; sustain; hold up; steady.
  • To stop.
  • To restrain; withhold; check; stop.
  • To put off; defer; postpone; delay; keep back: as, to stay judgment.
  • To hold the attention of.
  • To stand; undergo; abide; hold out during.
  • To wait for; await.
  • To rest; depend; rely.
  • To stop.
  • To come to an end; cease.
  • To delay; linger; tarry; wait.
  • To make a stand; stand.
  • To hold out, as in a race or contest; last or persevere to the end.
  • To remain; especially, to remain in a place for an indefinite time; abide; sojourn; dwell; reside.
  • To wait; rest in patience or in expectation.
  • To wait as an attendant; give ceremonious or submissive attendance: with on or upon.
  • Synonyms To rest, lodge, delay.
  • In poker, to come in when an ante has been raised.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. stop a judicial process
  • v. overcome or allay
  • v. stay the same; remain in a certain state
  • n. continuing or remaining in a place or state
  • n. the state of inactivity following an interruption
  • n. (nautical) brace consisting of a heavy rope or wire cable used as a support for a mast or spar
  • v. dwell
  • v. stay put (in a certain place)
  • v. hang on during a trial of endurance
  • n. a judicial order forbidding some action until an event occurs or the order is lifted
  • v. remain behind
  • n. a thin strip of metal or bone that is used to stiffen a garment (e.g. a corset)
  • v. fasten with stays
  • v. continue in a place, position, or situation
  • v. stop or halt
  • v. stay behind

Etymologies

Middle English steien, from Old French ester, esteir, from Latin stāre; see stā- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English staien, from Old French estaiier, from estaie, a support, of Germanic origin.
Middle English, from Old English stæg.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English *stay, from Old English stæġ ("stay, a rope supporting a mast"), from Proto-Germanic *stagan (“stay, rope”), from Proto-Indo-European *stek-, *stāk- (“stand, pole”), from Proto-Indo-European *stā- (“to stand”). Cognate with Dutch stag ("stay"), German Stag ("stay"), Swedish stag ("stay"), Icelandic stag ("stay"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English steyen, staien, from Old French estayer, estaier ("to fix, prop up, support, stay"), from estaye, estaie ("a prop, a stay"), from Middle Dutch staeye ("a prop, stay"), a contracted form of staede, stade ("a prop, stay, help, aid"; compare Middle Dutch staeyen, staeden ("to make firm, stay, support, hold still, stabilise")), from Old Dutch *stad (“a site, place, location, standing”), from Proto-Germanic *stadiz (“a standing, place”), from Proto-Indo-European *stā- (“to stand”). Influenced by Old English stæġ ("a stay, rope"; see above). Cognate with Old English stede, stæde ("a place, spot, locality, fixed position, station, site, standing, status, position of a moving body, stopping, standing still, stability, fixity, firmness, steadfastness"), Swedish stödja ("to prop, support, brace, hold up, bolster"), Icelandic stöðug ("continuous, stable"). More at stead, steady. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English *staye, from Old French estaye, estaie ("a prop, a stay"), from Middle Dutch staeye ("a prop, stay"), a contracted form of staede, stade ("a prop, stay, help, aid"; compare Middle Dutch staeyen, staeden ("to make firm, stay, support, hold still, stabilise")), from Old Dutch *stad (“a site, place, location, standing”), from Proto-Germanic *stadiz (“a standing, place”), from Proto-Indo-European *stā- (“to stand”). See above. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English *steȝe, from Old English *stǣġe, an apocopated variant of Old English stǣġel ("steep, abrupt"), from Proto-Germanic *staigilaz (“climbing, ascending, sloping, steep”), see sty. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • someone forgot "assuage (hunger) for a short time".

    November 26, 2008