- to spend some time in a place, in a situation, with a person or group, etc.: He stayed in the army for ten years.
- to continue to be as specified, as to condition or state: to stay clean.
- to hold out or endure, as in a contest or task (followed by with or at): Please stay with the project as long as you can.
- to keep up, as with a competitor (followed by with).
- Poker. to continue in a hand by matching an ante, bet, or raise.
- to stop or halt.
- to pause or wait, as for a moment, before proceeding or continuing; linger or tarry.
- Archaic. to cease or desist.
- Archaic. to stand firm.
- to stop or halt.
- to hold back, detain, or restrain, as from going further.
- to suspend or delay (actions, proceedings, etc.).
- to appease or satisfy temporarily the cravings of (the stomach, appetite, etc.).
- to remain through or during (a period of time): We stayed two days in San Francisco.
- to remain to the end of; remain beyond (usually followed by out).
- Archaic. to await.
- the act of stopping or being stopped.
- a stop, halt, or pause; a standstill.
- a sojourn or temporary residence: a week's stay in Miami.
- Law. a stoppage or arrest of action; suspension of a judicial proceeding: The governor granted a stay of execution.
- Informal. staying power; endurance.
- stay the course, to persevere; endure to completion.
Origin of stay1
- (intr) to remain away from homethe cat stayed out all night
- (tr) to remain beyond the end ofto stay out a welcome
- (tr) to remain throughoutto stay the night out
- (intr) to continue or remain in a certain place, position, etcto stay outside
- (copula) to continue to be; remainto stay awake
- (intr often foll by at) to reside temporarily, esp as a guestto stay at a hotel
- (tr) to remain for a specified periodto stay the weekend
- (intr) Scot and Southern African to reside permanently or habitually; live
- archaic to stop or cause to stop
- (intr) to wait, pause, or tarry
- (tr) to delay or hinder
- to discontinue or suspend (a judicial proceeding)
- to hold in abeyance or restrain from enforcing (an order, decree, etc)
- to endure (something testing or difficult, such as a race)a horse that stays the course
- (intr; usually foll by with) to keep pace (with a competitor in a race, etc)
- (intr) poker to raise one's stakes enough to stay in a round
- (tr) to hold back or restrainto stay one's anger
- (tr) to satisfy or appease (an appetite, etc) temporarily
- (tr) archaic to quell or suppress
- (intr) archaic to stand firm
- stay put See put (def. 18)
- the act of staying or sojourning in a place or the period during which one stays
- the act of stopping or restraining or state of being stopped, etc
- the suspension of a judicial proceeding, etcstay of execution
- anything that supports or steadies, such as a prop or buttress
- a thin strip of metal, plastic, bone, etc, used to stiffen corsets, etc
- (often foll by up) to prop or hold
- (often foll by up) to comfort or sustain
- (foll by on or upon) to cause to rely or depend
Word Origin and History for stay out
"to remain," mid-15c., from Middle French estai-, stem of ester "to stay or stand," from Old French, from Latin stare "to stand" (cf. Italian stare, Spanish estar "to stand, to be"), from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Originally "come to a halt;" sense of "remain" is first recorded 1570s.
Noun senses of "appliance for stopping," "period of remaining in a place," and (judicial) "suspension of proceeding" all developed 1525-1550. Stay-at-home (adj.) is from 1806. Stay put is first recorded 1843, American English. "To stay put is to keep still, remain in order. A vulgar expression" [Bartlett]. Phrase stay the course is originally (1885) in reference to horses holding out till the end of a race.
"support, prop, brace," 1510s, from Middle French estaie "piece of wood used as a support," perhaps from Frankish *staka "support," from Proto-Germanic *stagaz (cf. Middle Dutch stake "stick," Old English steli "steel" stæg "rope used to support a mast"), from PIE *stak- (see stay (n.2)). If not, then from the root of stay (v.). Stays "laced underbodice" is attested from c.1600.
"strong rope which supports a ship's mast," from Old English stæg, from Proto-Germanic *stagan (cf. Dutch stag, Low German stach, German Stag, Old Norse stag), from PIE *stak-, ultimately an extended form of root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). The verb meaning "secure or steady with stays" is first recorded 1620s.