Etymology
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stalwart (adj.)

late 14c., "resolute, determined," Scottish variant of stalworth, from Old English stælwierðe "good, serviceable," probably a contracted compound of staðol "base, foundation, support; stability, security" (from Proto-Germanic *stathlaz, from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm") + wierðe "good, excellent, worthy" (see worth). Another theory traces the first element of stælwierðe to Old English stæl "place," from Proto-Germanic *stælaz.

updated on April 19, 2017

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Definitions of stalwart from WordNet
1
stalwart (adj.)
having rugged physical strength; inured to fatigue or hardships;
proud of her tall stalwart son
Synonyms: hardy / stout / sturdy
stalwart (adj.)
dependable;
a stalwart supporter of the UN
the stalwart citizens at Lexington
Synonyms: stout
stalwart (adj.)
used especially of persons;
a stalwart knight
Synonyms: stouthearted
2
stalwart (n.)
a person who is loyal to their allegiance (especially in times of revolt);
Synonyms: loyalist
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.