go steady, Informal. to date one person exclusively: Her father didn't approve of her going steady at such an early age.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for steadily

Contemporary Examples of steadily

Historical Examples of steadily

British Dictionary definitions for steadily


adjective steadier or steadiest

not able to be moved or disturbed easily; stable
free from fluctuationthe level stayed steady
not easily excited; imperturbable
staid; sober
regular; habituala steady drinker
continuousa steady flow
nautical (of a vessel) keeping upright, as in heavy seas

verb steadies, steadying or steadied

to make or become steady


in a steady manner
go steady informal to date one person regularly

noun plural steadies

informal one's regular boyfriend or girlfriend


nautical an order to the helmsman to stay on a steady course
a warning to keep calm, be careful, etc
British a command to get set to start, as in a raceready, steady, go!
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 steadily



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.



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



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with steadily


In addition to the idiom beginning with steady

  • steady as a rock

also see:

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