- a verse or stanza of a poem or song.
- the alliterating sound in a line of verse, as the w-sound in wind in the willows.
verb (used with object), staved or stove, stav·ing.
verb (used without object), staved or stove, stav·ing.
- to put, ward, or keep off, as by force or evasion.
- to prevent in time; forestall: He wasn't able to stave off bankruptcy.
Origin of stave
Examples from the Web for stave
Four weeks after the injections, all 20 of the participants had developed the antibodies needed to stave off the infection.
And how much do you need to sweat to stave off the disease that kills 500,000 people every year?Running 15 Miles a Week Could Slash Alzheimer’s Risk|DailyBurn|December 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Will “loyalty cards” be enough to stave of a Republican massacre of House Democrats on Tuesday?
No surprise, therefore, that women are desperate to stave off the “visible signs” of aging.
While pundits think Morse is relatively safe in his effort to stave off recall, Giron is facing a much tighter race.
They want to stave off our question until after the presidential campaign.The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony (Volume 1 of 2)|Ida Husted Harper
Then, as Bedell sang a stave in a full rich voice, "Bye-oh, Baby!"The Christmas Miracle|Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)
If you stave off the threatened prohibition you will earn it ten times over.British Secret Service During the Great War|Nicholas Everitt
Then she went on quickly, to stave off any possible questionings as to her state of mind.That Unfortunate Marriage, Vol. 3(of 3)|Frances Eleanor Trollope
Chester noticed with surprise that each man was armed, not only with a stave, but with a revolver.The Chink in the Armour|Marie Belloc Lowndes
British Dictionary definitions for stave
- British an individual group of five lines and four spaces used in staff notation
- another word for staff 1 (def. 9)
verb staves, staving, staved or stove
Word Origin for stave
Word Origin and History for stave
"piece of a barrel," 1750, back-formation from staves (late 14c.), plural of staff (cf. leaves/leaf), possibly from Old English, but not recorded there. The verb (to stave in, past tense stove) is 1590s, originally nautical, on notion of bashing in the staves of a cask and letting out the contents; stave off (1620s) is literally "keep off with a staff," as of dogs.