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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.
Origin of sty2
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 styes
Historical Examples
  • Many internal remedies have been used for boils and styes and other external infections and have often had wide vogue.

    Psychotherapy James J. Walsh
  • It was very long and furnished inside with two rows of styes built solidly of concrete.

    The Great War As I Saw It Frederick George Scott
  • As he spoke he bound his girdle round him and went to the styes where the young sucking pigs were penned.

    The Odyssey Homer
  • The Irishman ran, as he spoke, to the styes and hutches where the pigs and rabbits were kept and opened the doors.

    The Coxswain's Bride R.M. Ballantyne
  • The sows in the styes when they lie-in (saving the honour of this good company) are fed only with orange-flowers.

  • He cleaned the filth from the styes with never a thought that he might be better or more profitably employed.

    The Serf Guy Thorne
  • A small French town generally reminds one of the outhouses and styes of a farm.

    "Contemptible" "Casualty"
  • In the farms were styes full of half-starved pigs, grunting and groaning with hideous effect.

    Norman Ten Hundred A. Stanley Blicq
  • Then they were all changed into swine, and Circe drove them out and shut them up in the styes.

  • They therefore drive them out from their night styes to feed, according to their litters and ages.

British Dictionary definitions for styes


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 styes



"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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styes 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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