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[stahy] /staɪ/
noun, plural sties.
a pen or enclosure for swine; pigpen.
any filthy place or abode.
a place of bestial debauchery.
verb (used with object), stied, stying.
to keep or lodge in or as if in a sty.
verb (used without object), stied, stying.
to live in or as if in a sty.
Origin of sty1
before 1000; (noun) Middle English; Old English *stī in stī-fearh sty-pig; probably identical with stig- in stigweard steward; cognate with Old Norse stī, Dutch stijg, German Steige


or stye

[stahy] /staɪ/
noun, plural sties. Ophthalmology.
a circumscribed abscess caused by bacterial infection of the glands on the edge of the eyelid; hordeolum.
1610-20; by false division of Middle English styanye sty (styan (Old English stīgend sty, literally, rising) + ye eye), taken to be sty on eye Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sty
Historical Examples
  • Much more I, who am apt to get too near that ugly 'sty of Epicurus' sometimes!

  • And the girls heard the hungry grunting of a pig in its sty.

    A Little Miss Nobody Amy Bell Marlowe
  • A proverb on the laziness and lodgings of the servants: “The worse their sty—the longer they lie.”

    Ireland in the Days of Dean Swift Jonathan Swift and J. Bowles (John Bowles) Daly
  • She had to crawl, for there was not room in the sty for even a child to stand upright.

    Lalage's Lovers George A. Birmingham
  • He quickened his steps; his heart beat very fast; he looked over the edge of the sty, and, oh horror!

    Our Frank Amy Walton
  • Such is the modern philosophy of the Moulders, pigs out of the sty of Epicurus.

    Orley Farm Anthony Trollope
  • It stands for sty-ward, where sty means pen, not necessarily limited to pigs.

    The Romance of Names Ernest Weekley
  • Unable to bear the uncertainty, he rushed forward and looked into the sty.

    The Hawthorns Amy Walton
  • Do you know why you are fed so well while you stay in this sty?

  • You're in Bermondsey, mister, an' if you tyke my advice you'll go 'ome an' sty 'ome.

    Changing Winds St. John G. Ervine
British Dictionary definitions for sty


noun (pl) sties
a pen in which pigs are housed and fed
any filthy or corrupt place
verb sties, stying, stied
to enclose or be enclosed in a sty
Word Origin
Old English stig; related to Old Norse stīa pen, fold, Old High German stīga, Middle Dutch stije
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sty

"pen for pigs," Old English sti, stig "hall, pen" (in sti-fearh), from Proto-Germanic *stijan (cf. Old Norse stia "sty, kennel," Old High German stiga "pen for small cattle").

"inflamed swelling in the eyelid," 1610s, probably a back-formation from Middle English styany (as though sty on eye), mid-15c., from Old English stigend "sty," literally "riser," from present participle of stigan "go up, rise," from Proto-Germanic *stig- (see stair).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sty in Medicine

sty or stye (stī)
n. pl. sties or styes (stīz)
Inflammation of one or more sebaceous glands of an eyelid. Also called hordeolum.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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