See more synonyms for steady on
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.
  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.)
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.
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.
verb (used without object), stead·ied, stead·y·ing.
  1. to become steady.
  1. in a firm or steady manner: Hold the ladder steady.
  2. Informal. steadily, regularly, or continuously: Is she working steady now?
  1. 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

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for steadiness

Contemporary Examples of steadiness

Historical Examples of steadiness

  • This may have increased the resistance, but it adds to the steadiness.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • My steadiness was owing, in a great measure, to the following circumstances.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • His steadiness did not carry him to the end of his sentence.

  • What shall I say of the steadiness and exactitude of his hand?

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

  • The moment was critical, but the steadiness of Captain Truck did not desert him.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for steadiness


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
verb steadies, steadying or steadied
  1. to make or become steady
  1. in a steady manner
  2. go steady informal to date one person regularly
noun plural steadies
  1. informal one's regular boyfriend or girlfriend
  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!
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 steadiness



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 steadiness


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.