statuary (n.) Look up statuary at
1560s, "art of making statues;" 1580s, "statue sculptor," from Latin statuaria (ars), noun use of fem. of statuarius "of statues," as a noun, "maker of statues," from statua "an image, statue, monumental figure" (see statue). Meaning "statues collectively" is from 1670s. As an adjective, "of or pertaining to statues," 1620s, from the noun or from Latin statuarius.
statue (n.) Look up statue at
late 14c., from Old French statue, estatue "(pagan) statue, graven image" (12c.), from Latin statua "image, statue, monumental figure, representation in metal," properly "that which is set up," back-formation from statuere "to cause to stand, set up," from status "a standing, position," from past participle stem of stare "to stand," from PIE *ste-tu-, from root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm." The children's game of statues is attested from 1906.
statuesque (adj.) Look up statuesque at
"of or like a statue" in some sense, especially "stately, having a formal dignity and beauty, tall and solidly built," 1823, from statue, patterned on picturesque. Related: Statuesquely; statuesqueness.
statuette (n.) Look up statuette at
1843, from statue + diminutive ending -ette.
stature (n.) Look up stature at
early 14c., "natural height of a body, height," from Old French stature, estature "build, structure," from Latin statura "height, size of body, size, growth," from PIE *ste-tu-, from root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm," with derivatives meaning "place or thing that is standing." Figurative sense first recorded 1834.
status (n.) Look up status at
1670s, "height" of a situation or condition, later "legal standing of a person" (1791), from Latin status "condition, position, state, manner, attitude," from past participle stem of stare "to stand," from PIE *ste-tu-, from root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm." Sense of "standing in one's society or profession" is from 1820. Status symbol first recorded 1955; status-seeker from 1956. Status-anxiety is from 1959.
status quo (n.) Look up status quo at
"unaltered condition," 1833, from Latin status quo "the state in which," hence "existing state of affairs." Also status quo ante "the state in which before, state of affairs previous" (1877). Related: Status-quoism.
statute (n.) Look up statute at
late 13c., from Old French statut, estatut "(royal) promulgation, (legal) statute," from Late Latin statutum "a law, decree," noun use of neuter past participle of Latin statuere "enact, establish," from status "condition, position," from past participle stem of stare "to stand," from PIE *ste-tu-, from root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm."
statutory (adj.) Look up statutory at
"pertaining to statues, depending on statute for authority, required by statute," 1717, from statute + -ory. Statutory rape attested from 1873; in U.S., "sexual intercourse with a female below the legal age of consent, whether forced or not." Related: Statutorily.
staunch (adj.) Look up staunch at
early 15c., "impervious to water," from Old French estanche "firm, watertight," fem. of estanc "tired, exhausted, wearied, vanquished; water-tight; withered, dried" (Modern French étanche), from Vulgar Latin *stanticare (source also of Spanish estanco "water-tight," Italian stanco "exhausted, weary"), probably from Latin stans (genitive stantis), present participle of stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm." Sense of "strong, substantial" first recorded mid-15c.; of persons, "standing firm and true to one's principles" from 1620s.
staunchly (adv.) Look up staunchly at
1825, from staunch + -ly (2).
stave (n.) Look up stave at
"piece of a barrel," 1750, back-formation from staves (late 14c.), plural of staff, with the usual change of medial -f- to -v- (compare leaves/leaf). The plural form possibly was in Old English but not recorded there.
stave (v.) Look up stave at
1540s, "to fit with staves," from stave (n.). The meaning "break into staves" is from 1590s (with in from 1748, chiefly nautical, on notion of bashing in the staves of a cask). Past tense stove. Stave off (1620s), however, is literally "keep off with a staff," as of one beset by wolves or dogs. Related: Staved; staving.
stavesacre (n.) Look up stavesacre at
herbal plant of the Delphinium family, c. 1400, from Latin staphisagria, from Greek staphis agria, literally "wild raisin," from staphis "raisin" (according to Klein, probably related to staphyle "bunch of grapes") + agria, fem. of agrios "wild," literally "living in the fields," from agros "field" (from PIE root *agro- "field").
stay (n.1) Look up stay at
"support, prop, brace," 1510s, from Middle French estaie "piece of wood used as a support," Old French estaie "prop, support," perhaps from Frankish *staka "support" or some other Germanic word, from Proto-Germanic *stagaz (source also of Middle Dutch stake "stick," Old English steli "steel," stæg "rope used to support a mast"), from PIE *stak- "to stand, place" (see stay (n.2)). In some uses from stay (v.2).
stay (v.2) Look up stay at
"support, sustain," early 15c., from Middle French estayer (Modern French étayer), originally in nautical use, "secure by stays," from estaie (see stay (n.1)). The nautical sense in English is from 1620s. Related: Stayed; staying.
stay (n.3) Look up stay at
1520s, "delay, postponement, period of remaining in a place," from stay (v.1). Meaning "action of stoppage, appliance for stopping" is 1530s; that of "suspension of judicial proceedings" is from 1540s.
stay (v.1) Look up stay at
mid-15c., "cease going forward, come to a halt," also (transitive) "detain, hold back," from Old French estai-, stem of estare "to stay or stand," from Latin stare "to stand, stand still, remain standing; be upright, be erect; stand firm, stand in battle; abide; be unmovable; be motionless; remain, tarry, linger; take a side," (source also of Italian stare, Spanish estar "to stand, to be"), from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm." Sense of "remain" is first recorded 1570s; that of "reside as a guest for a short period" is from 1550s. Related: Stayed; staying.

Of things, "remain in place," 1590s. Stay put is first recorded 1843, American English. "To stay put is to keep still, remain in order. A vulgar expression" [Bartlett]. Phrase stay the course is originally (1885) in reference to horses holding out till the end of a race. Stay-stomach was (1800) "a snack."
stay (n.2) Look up stay at
"strong rope which supports a ship's mast," from Old English stæg "rope used to support a mast," from Proto-Germanic *stagaz (source also of Dutch stag, Low German stach, German Stag, Old Norse stag "stay of a ship"), from PIE *stak- "to stand, place," perhaps ultimately an extended form of root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm."
stay-at-home (n.) Look up stay-at-home at
1836, from adjectival stay-at-home (1806); see stay (v.1).
staycation (n.) Look up staycation at
also stay-cation, 2008, American English, a word from the "Great Recession" of that year, from stay (v.1) + ending from vacation.
staymaker (n.) Look up staymaker at
also stay-maker, from stays + maker.
stays (n.) Look up stays at
"laced underbodice," c. 1600, from plural of stay (n.1). Also compare bodice.
stead (n.) Look up stead at
Old English stede "place, position; standing, firmness, stability, fixity," from Proto-Germanic *stadiz (source also of Old Saxon stedi, Old Norse staðr "place, spot; stop, pause; town," Swedish stad, Dutch stede "place," Old High German stat, German Stadt "town," Gothic staþs "place"), from PIE *steti-, suffixed form of root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm." Related to stand.

Now chiefly in compounds or phrases. Meaning "assistance, use, benefit, advantage" is from c. 1300. Meaning "frame on which a bed is laid" is from c. 1400. The German use of Stadt for "town, city" "is a late development from c. 1200 when the term began to replace Burg" [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names]. The Steads was 16c. English for "the Hanseatic cities."
steadfast (adj.) Look up steadfast at
Old English stedefæst "secure in position, steady, firm in its place," from stede (see stead) + fæst (see fast (adj.)); similar formation in Middle Low German stedevast, Old Norse staðfastr "steadfast, firm; faithful, staunch, firm in one's mind." Of persons, in English, "unshakable, stubborn, resolute" from c. 1200. Related: Steadfastly, steadfastness.
steady (v.) Look up steady at
1520s, transitive and intransitive, from steady (adj.). Related: Steadied; steadying.
steady (n.) Look up steady at
1792, "a steady thing or place," from steady (adj.). From 1885 as "something that holds another object steady." Meaning "one's boyfriend or girlfriend" is from 1897; to go steady is 1905 in teenager slang.
steady (adj.) Look up steady at
1520s, "firmly fixed in place or station" (replacing earlier steadfast), from stead + adjectival suffix -y (2), perhaps on model of Middle Dutch, Middle Low German stadig. Old English had stæððig "grave, serious," and stedig "barren," but neither seems to be the direct source of the modern word. Old Norse cognate stoðugr "steady, stable" was closer in sense. As an adverb from c. 1600.

Originally of things; of persons or minds from c. 1600. Meaning "working at an even rate" is first recorded in 1540s. Steady progress is etymologically a contradiction in terms. Steady state first attested 1885; as a cosmological theory (propounded by Bondi, Gold, and Hoyle), it is attested from 1948. Related: Steadily.
steak (n.) Look up steak at
mid-15c., "thick slice of meat cut for roasting," probably from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse steik "roast meat," related to steikja "to roast on a spit," and ultimately meaning "something stuck" (on a spit), from Proto-Germanic *staiko-, from PIE *steig- "to stick; pointed" (see stick (v.)).
steal (n.) Look up steal at
1825, "act or case of theft," from steal (v.). Meaning "a bargain" is attested by 1942, American English colloquial. Baseball sense of "a stolen base" is from 1867.
steal (v.) Look up steal at
Old English stelan "to commit a theft, to take and carry off clandestinely and without right or leave" (class IV strong verb; past tense stæl, past participle stolen), from Proto-Germanic *stelan (source also of Old Saxon stelan, Old Norse, Old Frisian stela "to steal, to rob one of," Dutch stelen, Old High German stelan, German stehlen, Gothic stilan "to steal"), from PIE *stel-, possibly a variant of *ster- (3) "to rob, steal."

"The notion of secrecy ... seems to be part of the original meaning of the vb." [OED]. Intransitive meaning "to depart or withdraw stealthily and secretly" is from late Old English. Most IE words for steal have roots in notions of "hide," "carry off," or "collect, heap up." Attested as a verb of stealthy motion from c. 1300 (as in to steal away, late 14c.); of kisses from late 14c.; of glances, sighs, etc., from 1580s. The various sports senses begin 1836. To steal (someone) blind first recorded 1974.
stealing (n.) Look up stealing at
14c., verbal noun from steal (v.). Old English had stælðing "theft."
stealth (n.) Look up stealth at
mid-13c., "theft, action or practice of stealing," from a probable Old English *stælþ, which is related to stelen (see steal (v.)), from Proto-Germanic *stælitho (source also of Old Norse stulþr), with Proto-Germanic abstract noun suffix *-itho (see -th (2)).

Compare heal/health, weal/wealth. Sense of "secret action" developed c. 1300, but the word also retained its etymological sense into 18c. Got a boost as an adjective from stealth fighter, stealth bomber, radar-evading U.S. military aircraft, activated 1983.
stealthy (adj.) Look up stealthy at
c. 1600, from stealth + -y (2). Related: Stealthily; stealthiness.
steam (v.) Look up steam at
Old English stiemen, stymen "emit vapor, emit a scent or odor," from the root of steam (n.). Meaning "go by steam power" is from 1831. Transitive sense from 1660s, "to emit as steam;" meaning "to treat with steam" is from 1798. Slang steam up (transitive) "make (someone) angry" is from 1922. Related: Steamed; steaming.
steam (n.) Look up steam at
Old English steam "vapor, fume, water in a gaseous state," from Proto-Germanic *staumaz (source also of Dutch stoom "steam"), of unknown origin. Meaning "vapor of boiling water used to drive an engine" is from 1690s, hence steam age (1828) and many figurative uses, such as let off steam (1831, literal), blow off steam (1857, figurative), full-steam (1878), get up steam (1887, figurative). Steam heat is from 1820s in thermodynamics; as a method of temperature control from 1904.
We have given her six months to consider the matter, and in this steam age of the world, no woman ought to require a longer time to make up her mind. [Sarah Josepha Hale, "Sketches of American Character," 1828]
steam-engine (n.) Look up steam-engine at
1751; earlier in the same sense was fire-engine (1722), atmospheric engine.
steam-roller (n.) Look up steam-roller at
also steamroller, 1866, from steam (n.) + roller. As a verb, first recorded 1912 (steam-roll (v.) is from 1879). Related: Steam-rollered.
steam-whistle (n.) Look up steam-whistle at
1840, from steam (n.) + whistle (n.).
steamboat (n.) Look up steamboat at
1787, from steam + boat (n.).
steamer (n.) Look up steamer at
1814 in the cookery sense, agent noun from steam (v.). From 1825 as "a vessel propelled by steam," hence steamer trunk (1885), one that carries the essentials for a voyage.
steampunk (n.) Look up steampunk at
also steam-punk, by 1992, perhaps 1989, from steam (as in Age of Steam) + punk (n.), probably on model of cyberpunk (1986).
steamship (n.) Look up steamship at
also steam-ship, 1819, from steam (n.) + ship (n.).
steamy (adj.) Look up steamy at
1640s, "vaporous, misty, abounding in steam," from steam + -y (2); in the sense of "erotic, sexy," it is first recorded 1952. Related: Steamily; steaminess.
stearin (n.) Look up stearin at
glycerine of stearic acid, white crystalline compound found in animal and vegetable fats (it was derived from mutton fat, among other things), 1817, from French stéarine, coined by French chemist Marie-Eugène Chevreul (1786-1889) from Greek stear (genitive steatos) "tallow, stiff fat, suet" (contrasted with pimele "soft fat, lard;" compare Latin sebum/adeps), possibly from PIE *stai- "stone," also "to thicken, stiffen" (see stone (n.)). Stearic (1831) is from French stéarique.
steatopygia (n.) Look up steatopygia at
"abnormal accumulation of fat on the buttocks of certain races," 1822, Modern Latin, from steato- "fat, tallow," comb. form of Greek stear (genitive steatos) "solid fat, suet" (see stearin) + Greek pyge "rump, buttocks" + abstract noun ending -ia. Related: Steatopygous "having enormously fat buttocks" [Century Dictionary]; steatopygy.
steed (n.) Look up steed at
Old English steda "stallion, stud horse," from Proto-Germanic *stodjon (source also of Old Norse stoð), from the same Germanic root as Old English stod (see stud (n.2)). In Middle English, "a great horse" (as distinguished from a palfrey), "a spirited war horse." Obsolete from 16c. except in poetic, rhetorical, or jocular language.
steel (v.) Look up steel at
"make hard or strong like steel," 1580s, earliest use is figurative, from steel (n.). Old English lacked the verb but had styled "made of steel." Related: Steeled; steeling.
steel (n.) Look up steel at
modified form of iron with a small portion of carbon, not found in nature but known in ancient times, Old English style "steel," from noun use of Proto-Germanic adjective *stakhlijan "made of steel" (source also of Old Saxon stehli, Old Norse, Middle Low German stal, Danish staal, Swedish stål, Middle Dutch stael, Dutch staal, Old High German stahal, German Stahl), related to *stakhla "standing fast," from PIE *stek-lo-, from root *stak- "to stand, place, be firm" (see stay (n.1)). The notion is perhaps "that which stands firm." No corresponding word exists outside Germanic except those likely borrowed from Germanic languages.

As an adjective from c. 1200 (Old English used stylen "*steel-en." Steel wool is attested from 1896. Steel drum is from 1952.
steely (adj.) Look up steely at
1580s, "made of steel," from steel (n.) + -y (2). Figurative meaning "hard and cold as steel" is from c. 1500. Related: Steeliness.