strongly and stoutly built; sturdy and robust.
strong and brave; valiant: a stalwart knight.
firm, steadfast, or uncompromising: a stalwart supporter of the U.N.


a physically stalwart person.
a steadfast or uncompromising partisan: They counted on the party stalwarts for support in the off-year campaigns.

Origin of stalwart

1325–75; Middle English (Scots), variant of stalward, earlier stalwurthe; see stalworth
Related formsstal·wart·ly, adverbstal·wart·ness, noun




a conservative Republican in the 1870s and 1880s, especially one opposed to civil service and other reforms during the administrations of presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and James A. Garfield. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stalwart

Contemporary Examples of stalwart

Historical Examples of stalwart

  • “A tall and stalwart esquire, methinks,” said Master Headley.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • The stalwart man was buttoned up in a dark overcoat, and carried an umbrella.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • Another voice, stalwart, elated, cut through it like a sword.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • He was the mightiest man of valor in that same day of this our life, stalwart and stately.



  • If I had never had a trouble before I had one now—large, stalwart, robust.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

British Dictionary definitions for stalwart



strong and sturdy; robust
solid, dependable, and courageousstalwart citizens
resolute and firm


a stalwart person, esp a supporter
Derived Formsstalwartly, adverbstalwartness, noun

Word Origin for stalwart

Old English stǣlwirthe serviceable, from stǣl, shortened from stathol support + wierthe worth 1
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

Word Origin and History for stalwart

late 14c., Scottish variant of Old English stælwierðe "good, serviceable," probably a contracted compound of staðol "foundation, support" (from Proto-Germanic *stathlaz, from PIE root *sta- "to stand, set down, make or be firm;" see stet) + wierðe "good, excellent, worthy" (see worth). Another theory traces the first element of stælwierðe to Old English stæl "place," from Proto-Germanic *stælaz. In U.S. political history, applied 1877 by Blaine to Republicans who refused to give up their hostility to and distrust of the South.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper