2 [stawnch, stahnch]
adjective, stauncher, staunchest.
firm or steadfast in principle, adherence, loyalty, etc., as a person: a staunch Republican; a staunch friend.
characterized by firmness, steadfastness, or loyalty: He delivered a staunch defense of the government.
strong; substantial: a staunch little hut in the woods.
impervious to water or other liquids; watertight: a staunch vessel.
Also, stanch.

1375–1425; late Middle English sta(u)nch < Middle French estanche (feminine), estanc (masculine), derivative of estancher to stanch1

staunchly, adverb
staunchness, noun

1. constant, true, faithful. See steadfast. 2. resolute. 3. stout, sound. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
staunch1 (stɔːntʃ)
1.  loyal, firm, and dependable: a staunch supporter
2.  solid or substantial in construction
3.  rare (of a ship, etc) watertight; seaworthy
[C15: (originally: watertight): from Old French estanche, from estanchier to stanch]

staunch2 (stɔːntʃ)
vb, —n
a variant spelling of stanch

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1412, "impervious to water," from O.Fr. estanche "firm, watertight," fem. of estanc "dried, exhausted, wearied, vanquished," from V.L. *stanticare, probably from L. stans (gen. stantis), prp. of stare "to stand," from PIE base *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Sense of "strong,
substantial" first recorded 1455; of persons, "standing firm and true to one's principles" from 1623.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Don't be surprised when people--perhaps, or especially, those who were your
  staunchest supporters at the outset--turn on you.
Each of his films is guaranteed to offend some of the people all of the time,
  including his staunchest admirers.
Top leaders of the dental group had been among the policy's staunchest
To all but their staunchest supporters, it was clear that the army had won the
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