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.
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