the place of a person or thing as occupied by a successor or substitute: The nephew of the queen came in her stead.
Obsolete. a place or locality.
verb (used with object)
to be of service, advantage, or avail to.
stand in good stead, to be useful to, especially in a critical situation: Your experience will stand you in good stead.

before 900; (noun) Middle English, Old English stede; cognate with German Stätte place; akin to German Stadt, Old Norse stathr, Gothic staths, Greek stásis (see stasis); (v.) Middle English steden, derivative of the noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stead (stɛd)
1.  rare (preceded by in) the place, function, or position that should be taken by another: to come in someone's stead
2.  stand someone in good stead to be useful or of good service to (someone)
3.  archaic (tr) to help or benefit
[Old English stede; related to Old Norse stathr place, Old High German stat place, Latin statiō a standing, statim immediately]

Stead (stɛd)
Christina (Ellen). 1902--83, Australian novelist. Her works include Seven Poor Men of Sydney (1934), The Man who Loved Children (1940), and Cotters' England (1966)

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

O.E. stede "place, position, standing, delay," related to standan "to stand," from P.Gmc. *stadiz (cf. O.S. stedi, O.N. staðr, Swed. stad, Du. stede "place," O.H.G. stat, Ger. Stadt "town," Goth. staþs "place"), from PIE *stetis-, from base *ste-/*sta- "to stand" (see
stet). Now chiefly in compounds or phrases. Steadfast is from O.E. stedefæst "secure in position," from stede + fæst "firmly fixed" (see fast).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for steads
Bed frames, also called bed steads, are made of wood or metal.
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