v. & n.
1 intr. continue to be in the same place or condition; not depart or change (stay here until I come back).
2 intr. a (often foll. by at, in, with) have temporary residence as a visitor etc. (stayed with them for Christmas). b Sc. & S.Afr. dwell permanently.
3 archaic or literary a tr. stop or check (progress, the inroads of a disease, etc.). b intr. (esp. in imper.) pause in movement, action, speech, etc. (Stay! You forget one thing).
4 tr. postpone (judgement, decision, etc.).
5 tr. assuage (hunger etc.) esp. for a short time.
6 a intr. show endurance. b tr. show endurance to the end of (a race etc.).
7 tr. (often foll. by up) literary support, prop up (as or with a buttress etc.).
8 intr. (foll. by for, to) wait long enough to share or join in an activity etc. (stay to supper; stay for the film).
1 a the act or an instance of staying or dwelling in one place. b the duration of this (just a ten-minute stay; a long stay in London).
2 a suspension or postponement of a sentence, judgement, etc. (was granted a stay of execution).
3 archaic or literary a check or restraint (will endure no stay; a stay upon his activity).
4 endurance, staying power.
5 a prop or support.
6 (in pl.) hist. a corset esp. with whalebone etc. stiffening, and laced.
Phrases and idioms:
has come (or is here) to stay colloq. must be regarded as permanent. stay-at-home adj. remaining habitually at home.
—n. a person who does this. stay-bar (or -rod) a support used in building or in machinery. stay the course pursue a course of action or endure a struggle etc. to the end. stay one's hand see HAND. stay in remain indoors or at home, esp. in school after hours as a punishment. staying power endurance, stamina. stay-in strike = sit-down strike. stay the night remain until the next day. stay put colloq. remain where it is placed or where one is. stay up not go to bed (until late at night).
Etymology: AF estai- stem of OF ester f. L stare stand: sense
5 f. OF estaye(r) prop, formed as STAY(2)
n. & v.
1 Naut. a rope or guy supporting a mast, spar, flagstaff, etc.
2 a tie-piece in an aircraft etc.
1 support (a mast etc.) by stays.
2 put (a ship) on another tack.
Phrases and idioms:
be in stays (of a sailing ship) be head to the wind while tacking. miss stays fail to be in stays.
Etymology: OE staeligg be firm, f. Gmc
Useful english dictionary. 2012.