follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

stay1

[stey] /steɪ/
verb (used without object), stayed or staid, staying.
1.
to spend some time in a place, in a situation, with a person or group, etc.:
He stayed in the army for ten years.
2.
to continue to be as specified, as to condition or state:
to stay clean.
3.
to hold out or endure, as in a contest or task (followed by with or at):
Please stay with the project as long as you can.
4.
to keep up, as with a competitor (followed by with).
5.
Poker. to continue in a hand by matching an ante, bet, or raise.
6.
to stop or halt.
7.
to pause or wait, as for a moment, before proceeding or continuing; linger or tarry.
8.
Archaic. to cease or desist.
9.
Archaic. to stand firm.
verb (used with object), stayed or staid, staying.
10.
to stop or halt.
11.
to hold back, detain, or restrain, as from going further.
12.
to suspend or delay (actions, proceedings, etc.).
13.
to appease or satisfy temporarily the cravings of (the stomach, appetite, etc.).
14.
to remain through or during (a period of time):
We stayed two days in San Francisco.
15.
to remain to the end of; remain beyond (usually followed by out).
16.
Archaic. to await.
noun
17.
the act of stopping or being stopped.
18.
a stop, halt, or pause; a standstill.
19.
a sojourn or temporary residence:
a week's stay in Miami.
20.
Law. a stoppage or arrest of action; suspension of a judicial proceeding:
The governor granted a stay of execution.
21.
Informal. staying power; endurance.
Idioms
22.
stay the course, to persevere; endure to completion.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English staien < Anglo-French estaier, Old French estai-, stem of ester < Latin stāre to stand

stay2

[stey] /steɪ/
noun
1.
something used to support or steady a thing; prop; brace.
2.
a flat strip of steel, plastic, etc., used especially for stiffening corsets, collars, etc.
3.
a long rod running between opposite walls, heads or sides of a furnace, boiler, tank, or the like, to strengthen them against internal pressures.
4.
stays, Chiefly British. a corset.
verb (used with object), stayed, staying.
5.
to support, prop, or hold up (sometimes followed by up).
6.
to sustain or strengthen mentally or spiritually.
7.
to rest on (something, as a foundation or base) for support.
8.
to cause something to become fixed or to rest on (a support, foundation, base, etc.)
Origin
1505-15; apparently same as stay3 (compare Old French estayer to hold in place, support, perhaps derivative of Middle English steye stay3)

stay3

[stey] /steɪ/
noun
1.
any of various strong ropes or wires for steadying masts, funnels, etc.
verb (used with object), stayed, staying.
2.
to support or secure with a stay or stays:
to stay a mast.
3.
to put (a ship) on the other tack.
verb (used without object), stayed, staying.
4.
(of a ship) to change to the other tack.
Idioms
5.
in stays, (of a fore-and-aft-rigged vessel) heading into the wind with sails shaking, as in coming about.
Origin
before 1150; Middle English stey(e), Old English stæg; cognate with German Stag
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for stayed
  • While faculty have stayed largely silent, some have backed the students.
  • In part, this was because inflation stayed low and investors were risk-averse in the alarm of the recession.
  • Those who stayed behind still inhabit a contaminated landscape.
  • Booms kept oil off the shores, as long as the waves stayed calm.
  • She told me something that has stayed with me: the family had saved for three years to make the trip.
  • He went back to the house with one of the boys, but the crows stayed away.
  • Inside a near-vacuum bulb, it stayed alight for more than half a day.
  • Global average temperatures have stayed fairly constant over that time as well, until recently.
  • But their testosterone plunged, compared to peers who stayed single.
  • Look closely and you'll find signed copies from authors who have stayed in the room.
British Dictionary definitions for stayed

stay1

/steɪ/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to continue or remain in a certain place, position, etc to stay outside
2.
(copula) to continue to be; remain to stay awake
3.
(intransitive) often foll by at. to reside temporarily, esp as a guest to stay at a hotel
4.
(transitive) to remain for a specified period to stay the weekend
5.
(intransitive) (Scot & South African) to reside permanently or habitually; live
6.
(archaic) to stop or cause to stop
7.
(intransitive) to wait, pause, or tarry
8.
(transitive) to delay or hinder
9.
(transitive)
  1. to discontinue or suspend (a judicial proceeding)
  2. to hold in abeyance or restrain from enforcing (an order, decree, etc)
10.
to endure (something testing or difficult, such as a race) a horse that stays the course
11.
(intransitive) ; usually foll by with. to keep pace (with a competitor in a race, etc)
12.
(intransitive) (poker) to raise one's stakes enough to stay in a round
13.
(transitive) to hold back or restrain to stay one's anger
14.
(transitive) to satisfy or appease (an appetite, etc) temporarily
15.
(transitive) (archaic) to quell or suppress
16.
(intransitive) (archaic) to stand firm
17.
stay put, See put (sense 18)
noun
18.
the act of staying or sojourning in a place or the period during which one stays
19.
the act of stopping or restraining or state of being stopped, etc
20.
the suspension of a judicial proceeding, etc stay of execution
See also stay out
Word Origin
C15 staien, from Anglo-French estaier, to stay, from Old French ester to stay, from Latin stāre to stand

stay2

/steɪ/
noun
1.
anything that supports or steadies, such as a prop or buttress
2.
a thin strip of metal, plastic, bone, etc, used to stiffen corsets, etc
verb (transitive) (archaic)
3.
(often foll by up) to prop or hold
4.
(often foll by up) to comfort or sustain
5.
foll by on or upon. to cause to rely or depend
See also stays (sense 1)
Word Origin
C16: from Old French estaye, of Germanic origin; compare stay³

stay3

/steɪ/
noun
1.
a rope, cable, or chain, usually one of a set, used for bracing uprights, such as masts, funnels, flagpoles, chimneys, etc; guy See also stays (sense 2), stays (sense 3)
Word Origin
Old English stæg; related to Old Norse stag, Middle Low German stach, Norwegian stagle wooden post
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for stayed
stay
"to remain," 1440, from M.Fr. estai-, stem of ester "to stay or stand," from O.Fr., from L. stare "to stand" (cf. It. stare, Sp. estar "to stand, to be"), from PIE base *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Originally "come to a halt;" sense of "remain" is first recorded 1575. Noun senses of "appliance for stopping," "period of remaining in a place," and (judicial) "suspension of proceeding" all developed 1525-1550. Stay-at-home (adj.) is from 1806. Stay put is first recorded 1843, Amer.Eng. Phrase stay the course is originally (1885) in ref. to horses holding out till the end of a race.
stay
"support, prop, brace," c.1515, from M.Fr. estaie "piece of wood used as a support," perhaps from Frank. *staka "support," from P.Gmc. *stagaz (cf. M.Du. stake "stick," O.E. steli "steel" stæg "rope used to support a mast"), from PIE *stak- (see stay (n.2)). If not, then from the root of stay (v.). Stays "laced underbodice" is attested from 1608.
stay
"strong rope which supports a ship's mast," from O.E. stæg, from P.Gmc. *stagan (cf. Du. stag, Low Ger. stach, Ger. Stag, O.N. stag), from PIE *stak-, ult. an extended form of base *sta- "to stand" (see stet). The verb meaning "secure or steady with stays" is first recorded 1627.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for stayed

stay

verb

To maintain a penile erection (1960s+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with stayed
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for stay

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for stayed

10
9
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with stayed