1 [stahy]
noun, plural sties.
a pen or enclosure for swine; pigpen.
any filthy place or abode.
a place of bestial debauchery.
verb (used with object), stied, stying.
to keep or lodge in or as if in a sty.
verb (used without object), stied, stying.
to live in or as if in a sty.

before 1000; (noun) Middle English; Old English *stī in stī-fearh sty-pig; probably identical with stig- in stigweard steward; cognate with Old Norse stī, Dutch stijg, German Steige Unabridged


2 [stahy]
noun, plural sties. Ophthalmology.
a circumscribed abscess caused by bacterial infection of the glands on the edge of the eyelid; hordeolum.
Also, stye.

1610–20; by false division of Middle English styanye sty (styan (Old English stīgend sty, literally, rising) + ye eye), taken to be sty on eye Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sty (staɪ)
n , pl sties
1.  a pen in which pigs are housed and fed
2.  any filthy or corrupt place
vb , sties, sties, stying, stied
3.  to enclose or be enclosed in a sty
[Old English stig; related to Old Norse stīa pen, fold, Old High German stīga, Middle Dutch stije]

stye or sty (staɪ)
n , pl styes, sties
technical name hordeolum inflammation of a sebaceous gland of the eyelid, usually caused by bacteria
[C15 styanye (mistakenly taken as sty on eye), from Old English stīgend rising, hence swelling, stye + ye eye]
sty or sty
[C15 styanye (mistakenly taken as sty on eye), from Old English stīgend rising, hence swelling, stye + ye eye]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"pen for pigs," O.E. sti, stig "hall, pen" (in sti-fearh), from P.Gmc. *stijan (cf. O.N. stia "sty, kennel," O.H.G. stiga "pen for small cattle").

"inflamed swelling in the eyelid," 1617, probably a back-formation from M.E. styany (as though sty on eye), c.1440, from O.E. stigend "sty," lit. "riser," from prp. of stigan "go up, rise," from P.Gmc. *stig- (see stair).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

sty or stye (stī)
n. pl. sties or styes (stīz)
Inflammation of one or more sebaceous glands of an eyelid. Also called hordeolum.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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