one of the thin, narrow, shaped pieces of wood that form the sides of a cask, tub, or similar vessel.
a stick, rod, pole, or the like.
a rung of a ladder, chair, etc.
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.
Music. staff1 (def. 10).
to break in a stave or staves of (a cask or barrel) so as to release the wine, liquor, or other contents.
to release (wine, liquor, etc.) by breaking the cask or barrel.
to break or crush (something) inward (often followed by in).
to break (a hole) in, especially in the hull of a boat.
to break to pieces; splinter; smash.
to furnish with a stave or staves.
to beat with a stave or staff.
to become staved in, as a boat; break in or up.
to move along rapidly.
to put, ward, or keep off, as by force or evasion.
to prevent in time; forestall: He wasn't able to stave off bankruptcy.
- un·staved, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use stave in a sentence
The lords of politics, capital, labor and the professions throw down their staves of office and power to do King Gobble homage.
When push comes to shove, the pressure of staving off Ghana, Portugal, and Germany fell on Howard.
Which is exactly how I plan on staving off boredom this Yom Kippur.
"You are running it in staving, tiptop, first-class style," Clemens wrote to Bliss.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete | Albert Bigelow Paine
"A couple of days more staving round in the snowdrifts and I'll be ready," he announced, and Joshua began to pack up.The Come Back | Carolyn Wells
He told me that the trial which he has been staving off from time to time, will take place to-morrow.Guy Kenmore's Wife and The Rose and the Lily | Mrs. Alex McVeigh Miller
Honora guessed at a purpose of staving off graver remonstrance, but Phœbe looked on in astonishment.Hopes and Fears | Charlotte M. Yonge
Two men were pulling; a third, boat-hook in hand, was staving off the floating masses of ice; a fourth was at the rudder.The Green Book | Mr Jkai
British Dictionary definitions for stave
any one of a number of long strips of wood joined together to form a barrel, bucket, boat hull, etc
any of various bars, slats, or rods, usually of wood, such as a rung of a ladder or a crosspiece bracing the legs of a chair
any stick, staff, etc
a stanza or verse of a poem
British an individual group of five lines and four spaces used in staff notation
another word for staff 1 (def. 9)
(often foll by in) to break or crush (the staves of a boat, barrel, etc) or (of the staves of a boat) to be broken or crushed
(tr usually foll by in) to burst or force (a hole in something)
(tr) to provide (a ladder, chair, etc) with a stave or staves
(tr) Scot to sprain (a finger, toe, etc)
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