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.
Entries linking to steed
"horse used for breeding," Old English stod "herd of horses, place where horses are kept for breeding," from Proto-Germanic *stodo (source also of Old Norse stoð, Middle Low German stod, Old High German stuot "herd of horses," German Stute "mare"), from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm," with derivatives meaning "place or thing that is standing" (source also of Old Church Slavonic stado "herd," Lithuanian stodas "a drove of horses").
Sense of "male horse kept for breeding" is first recorded 1803; meaning "man who is highly active and proficient sexually" is attested from 1895; that of "any young man" is from 1929. Stud-poker (1864) is said to be from stud-horse poker, but that phrase is not found earlier than 1879.
c. 1200, palefrei (mid-12c. as a surname), "saddle horse for ordinary riding (opposed to a war horse), a fine, small horse for ladies," from Old French palefroi (11c., palefreid) and directly from Medieval Latin palafredus, altered by dissimilation from Late Latin paraveredus "post horse for outlying districts" (6c.), originally "extra horse," from Greek para "beside, secondary" (see para-) + Medieval Latin veredus "post horse; light, fast horse used by couriers," which is probably from Gaulish *voredos, from Celtic *wo-red- (source also of Welsh gorwydd "horse," Old Irish riadaim "I ride"), from PIE root *reidh- "to ride" (see ride (v.)). The Latin word passed to Old High German as pfarifrid, and in modern German it has become the usual word for "horse" (Pferd).
*stā-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to stand, set down, make or be firm," with derivatives meaning "place or thing that is standing."
It forms all or part of: Afghanistan; Anastasia; apostasy; apostate; armistice; arrest; assist; astatic; astatine; Baluchistan; bedstead; circumstance; consist; constable; constant; constitute; contrast; cost; desist; destination; destine; destitute; diastase; distance; distant; ecstasy; epistasis; epistemology; establish; estaminet; estate; etagere; existence; extant; Hindustan; histidine; histo-; histogram; histology; histone; hypostasis; insist; instant; instauration; institute; interstice; isostasy; isostatic; Kazakhstan; metastasis; obstacle; obstetric; obstinate; oust; Pakistan; peristyle; persist; post (n.1) "timber set upright;" press (v.2) "force into service;" presto; prostate; prostitute; resist; rest (v.2) "to be left, remain;" restitution; restive; restore; shtetl; solstice; stable (adj.) "secure against falling;" stable (n.) "building for domestic animals;" stage; stalag; stalwart; stamen; -stan; stance; stanchion; stand; standard; stanza; stapes; starboard; stare decisis; stasis; -stat; stat; state (n.1) "circumstances, conditions;" stater; static; station; statistics; stator; statue; stature; status; statute; staunch; (adj.) "strong, substantial;" stay (v.1) "come to a halt, remain in place;" stay (n.2) "strong rope which supports a ship's mast;" stead; steed; steer (n.) "male beef cattle;" steer (v.) "guide the course of a vehicle;" stem (n.) "trunk of a plant;" stern (n.) "hind part of a ship;" stet; stoa; stoic; stool; store; stound; stow; stud (n.1) "nailhead, knob;" stud (n.2) "horse kept for breeding;" stylite; subsist; substance; substitute; substitution; superstition; system; Taurus; understand.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit tisthati "stands;" Avestan histaiti "to stand;" Persian -stan "country," literally "where one stands;" Greek histēmi "put, place, cause to stand; weigh," stasis "a standing still," statos "placed," stylos "pillar;" Latin sistere "stand still, stop, make stand, place, produce in court," status "manner, position, condition, attitude," stare "to stand," statio "station, post;" Lithuanian stojuos "I place myself," statau "I place;" Old Church Slavonic staja "place myself," stanu "position;" Gothic standan, Old English standan "to stand," stede "place;" Old Norse steði "anvil;" Old Irish sessam "the act of standing."