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.
updated on April 19, 2017