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[stahyl] /staɪl/
a series of steps or rungs by means of which a person may pass over a wall or fence that remains a barrier to sheep or cattle.
Origin of stile1
before 900; Middle English; Old English stigel, derivative of stīgan to climb, cognate with German steigen
Can be confused
stile, style.


[stahyl] /staɪl/
noun, Carpentry, Furniture.
any of various upright members framing panels or the like, as in a system of paneling, a paneled door, window sash, or chest of drawers.
Compare rail1 (def 8).
1670-80; perhaps < Dutch stijl (door-, bed-) post, strut Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for stile
Historical Examples
  • At the stile leading into that lane where Robert had previously seen her, she was stopped by him.

    Rhoda Fleming, Complete George Meredith
  • A girl was seen walking across the field and approaching the stile.

    A Young Mutineer Mrs. L. T. Meade
  • He climbed over a stile in the hedge and took a field path that ran up to a wood—the wood way, as he remembered, to Astleys.

    The Lee Shore Rose Macaulay
  • I was obliged to stop and lean my head on my arms against a stile.

    The Lowest Rung Mary Cholmondeley
  • It grows very dark; the waiting figure by the stile vanishes into the gloom.

    Far Off Things Arthur Machen
  • This startled him, so he crossed the stile as carefully as he could, feeling every step.

  • Meg loitered a moment watching her, then she clambered over the stile and was off.

    Meg's Friend Alice Abigail Corkran
  • There is a stile from which a path leads across the fields thence to Hook.

    The Toilers of the Field Richard Jefferies
  • They had been standing near the stile: there was another awkward pause.

    Miles Tremenhere, Vol 1 of 2 Annette Marie Maillard
  • They, too, were walking in the paddock, and met Ermengarde close to the stile.

    The Children of Wilton Chase Mrs. L. T. Meade
British Dictionary definitions for stile


a set of steps or rungs in a wall or fence to allow people, but not animals, to pass over
short for turnstile
Word Origin
Old English stigel; related to stīgan to climb, Old High German stigilla; see stair


a vertical framing member in a door, window frame, or piece of panelling Compare rail1 (sense 3)
Word Origin
C17: probably from Dutch stijl pillar, ultimately from Latin stilus writing instrument; see style
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
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Word Origin and History for stile

Old English stigel "device for climbing, ladder," related to stigen "to climb," from Proto-Germanic *stig- "to climb," (see stair). An arrangement to allow persons to pass but not sheep and cattle.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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