verb (used with or without object), noun


[stawnch, stahnch]

adjective, staunch·er, staunch·est.

firm or steadfast in principle, adherence, loyalty, etc., as a person: a staunch Republican; a staunch friend.
characterized by firmness, steadfastness, or loyalty: He delivered a staunch defense of the government.
strong; substantial: a staunch little hut in the woods.
impervious to water or other liquids; watertight: a staunch vessel.
Also stanch.

Origin of staunch

1375–1425; late Middle English sta(u)nch < Middle French estanche (feminine), estanc (masculine), derivative of estancher to stanch1
Related formsstaunch·ly, adverbstaunch·ness, noun

Synonyms for staunch

1. constant, true, faithful. See steadfast. 2. resolute. 3. stout, sound. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for staunch

Contemporary Examples of staunch

Historical Examples of staunch

  • The staunch old gentleman was still in his trust; had never left it.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • Pee-wee's loyalty was so staunch that he did not even consider the things his aunt had said.

    Pee-wee Harris

    Percy Keese Fitzhugh

  • Decimus Saxon is staunch, though, and that word shall never be spoken.'

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • There was the corner grocer, too, with whom I pretended to be staunch friends.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • If you ever acted like staunch fellows, you will do so to-day.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for staunch




loyal, firm, and dependablea staunch supporter
solid or substantial in construction
rare (of a ship, etc) watertight; seaworthy
Derived Formsstaunchly, adverbstaunchness, noun

Word Origin for staunch

C15: (originally: watertight): from Old French estanche, from estanchier to stanch



verb, noun

a variant spelling of stanch
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 staunch

early 15c., "impervious to water," from Old French estanche "firm, watertight," fem. of estanc "dried, exhausted, wearied, vanquished," from Vulgar Latin *stanticare, probably from Latin stans (genitive stantis), present participle of stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Sense of "strong, substantial" first recorded mid-15c.; of persons, "standing firm and true to one's principles" from 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper