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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sty
Historical Examples
  • "This is what love can be these days, foul as two pigs in a sty," said the harbor.

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

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
  • Do you know why you are fed so well while you stay in this sty?

  • Here, nine out of every ten of the guarijos we've seen, live like hogs in a sty.

    Plotting in Pirate Seas Francis Rolt-Wheeler
  • For a while, I and my brother lived on in that sty and kept ourselves.

    Novel Notes Jerome K. Jerome
  • And the girls heard the hungry grunting of a pig in its sty.

    A Little Miss Nobody

    Amy Bell Marlowe
  • Jack looked at a fat pig in the sty with the eye of an ogre.

    The Three Midshipmen W.H.G. Kingston
  • In the village I have just come from the squire has had a pig stolen out of his sty.

  • I not know what pigs are till I see them in the sty at the mission.

    The Huntress Hulbert Footner
  • There is a calf in the barn,” he said, laughing, “and plenty of little pigs in the sty.

    Minnie's Pet Lamb Madeline Leslie
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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