steady (adj.)

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.

steady (v.)

1520s, transitive and intransitive, from steady (adj.). Related: Steadied; steadying.

steady (n.)

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.

updated on November 26, 2013

Definitions of steady from WordNet
steady (adj.)
not subject to change or variation especially in behavior;
a good steady ballplayer
a steady beat
a steady breeze
a steady job
a steady increase
steady (adj.)
not liable to fluctuate or especially to fall;
Synonyms: firm / unfluctuating
steady (adj.)
securely in position; not shaky;
held the ladder steady
steady (adj.)
marked by firm determination or resolution; not shakable;
Synonyms: firm / steadfast / stiff / unbendable / unfaltering / unshakable / unwavering
steady (adj.)
relating to a person who does something regularly;
a steady drinker
Synonyms: regular
steady (adj.)
not easily excited or upset;
steady nerves
steady (v.)
make steady;
steady yourself
Synonyms: calm / becalm
steady (v.)
support or hold steady and make steadfast, with or as if with a brace;
Synonyms: brace / stabilize / stabilise
steady (n.)
a person loved by another person;
Synonyms: sweetheart / sweetie / truelove
steady (adv.)
in a steady manner;
Synonyms: steadily
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.