• synonyms


adjective, stead·i·er, stead·i·est.
  1. firmly placed or fixed; stable in position or equilibrium: a steady ladder.
  2. even or regular in movement: the steady swing of the pendulum.
  3. free from change, variation, or interruption; uniform; continuous: a steady diet of meat and potatoes; a steady wind.
  4. constant, regular, or habitual: a steady job.
  5. free from excitement or agitation; calm: steady nerves.
  6. firm; unfaltering: a steady gaze; a steady hand.
  7. steadfast or unwavering; resolute: a steady purpose.
  8. settled, staid, or sober, as a person, habits, etc.
  9. Nautical. (of a vessel) keeping nearly upright, as in a heavy sea.
Show More
  1. (used to urge someone to calm down or be under control.)
  2. Nautical. (a helm order to keep a vessel steady on its present heading.)
Show More
noun, plural stead·ies.
  1. Informal. a person of the opposite sex whom one dates exclusively; sweetheart; boyfriend or girlfriend.
  2. Informal. a steady visitor, customer, or the like; habitué.
Show More
verb (used with object), stead·ied, stead·y·ing.
  1. to make or keep steady, as in position, movement, action, character, etc.: His calm confidence steadied the nervous passengers.
Show More
verb (used without object), stead·ied, stead·y·ing.
  1. to become steady.
Show More
  1. in a firm or steady manner: Hold the ladder steady.
  2. Informal. steadily, regularly, or continuously: Is she working steady now?
Show More
  1. go steady, Informal. to date one person exclusively: Her father didn't approve of her going steady at such an early age.
Show More

Origin of steady

1520–30; 1905–10 for def 12; stead + -y1
Related formsstead·i·ly, adverbstead·i·ness, nouno·ver·stead·i·ly, adverbo·ver·stead·i·ness, nouno·ver·stead·y, adjective

Synonyms for steady

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for steadiest

constant, solid, reliable, safe, substantial, durable, regular, consistent, continuous, persistent, incessant, stable, uninterrupted, unbroken, resolute, fast, dependable, calm, intense, even

Examples from the Web for steadiest

Contemporary Examples of steadiest

Historical Examples of steadiest

  • The steadiest goer in the world; but perhaps you would like me to go after her?

  • Wauna was perfectly calm, and managed the motor with the steadiest nerves.

    Mizora: A Prophecy

    Mary E. Bradley

  • My eldest boy, Peter, named after me, was one of the steadiest fellows I ever met.

    Peter Biddulph

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • He was a quiet, amiable young man, and one of the steadiest in our camp.

    Captain Mugford

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • Ditto George, the gasman, steadiest and most reliable man I ever employed.

British Dictionary definitions for steadiest


adjective steadier or steadiest
  1. not able to be moved or disturbed easily; stable
  2. free from fluctuationthe level stayed steady
  3. not easily excited; imperturbable
  4. staid; sober
  5. regular; habituala steady drinker
  6. continuousa steady flow
  7. nautical (of a vessel) keeping upright, as in heavy seas
Show More
verb steadies, steadying or steadied
  1. to make or become steady
Show More
  1. in a steady manner
  2. go steady informal to date one person regularly
Show More
noun plural steadies
  1. informal one's regular boyfriend or girlfriend
Show More
  1. nautical an order to the helmsman to stay on a steady course
  2. a warning to keep calm, be careful, etc
  3. British a command to get set to start, as in a raceready, steady, go!
Show More
Derived Formssteadier, nounsteadily, adverbsteadiness, noun

Word Origin for steady

C16: from stead + -y 1; related to Old High German stātīg, Middle Dutch stēdig
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 steadiest



1520s (replacing earlier steadfast), from stead + adjectival suffix -y (2), perhaps on model of Middle Dutch, Middle Low German stadig. Old English had stæððig "grave, serious," and stedig "barren," but neither seems to be the direct source of the modern word. Old Norse cognate stoðugr "steady, stable" was closer in sense.

Originally of things; of persons or minds from c.1600. Meaning "working at an even rate" is first recorded in 1540s. Steady progress is etymologically a contradiction in terms. Steady state first attested 1885; as a cosmological theory (propounded by Bondi, Gold, and Hoyle), it is attested from 1948.

Show More



1520s, from steady (adj.). Related: Steadied; steadying.

Show More



"one's boyfriend or girlfriend," 1897 from steady (adj.); to go steady is 1905 in teenager slang.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with steadiest


In addition to the idiom beginning with steady

  • steady as a rock

also see:

  • go steady
  • slow but sure (steady wins the race)
Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.