noun Scot. and North England.

a farm, especially its buildings.

Origin of steading

1425–75; late Middle English (north and Scots); see stead, -ing1




the place of a person or thing as occupied by a successor or substitute: The nephew of the queen came in her stead.
Obsolete. a place or locality.

verb (used with object)

to be of service, advantage, or avail to.

Origin of stead

before 900; (noun) Middle English, Old English stede; cognate with German Stätte place; akin to German Stadt, Old Norse stathr, Gothic staths, Greek stásis (see stasis); (v.) Middle English steden, derivative of the noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for steading

Contemporary Examples of steading

  • To live in a steading somewhere, equipped with a reliable well, vegetable patch, fireplace, maybe a wood-fired Aga.

    The Daily Beast logo
    A World Without Electricity

    Justin Green

    January 24, 2013

Historical Examples of steading

  • The country was of old so cursed by war, that a steading in the fields was a lost affair.

    The Book-Hunter

    John Hill Burton

  • After this Cormac went about the steading to look for Steingerd.

  • He will rue it that ever he begot a son who will lose him his acres and his steading.

    Sir Nigel

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • On t' other side frae our steading were a cove that fowks called Janet's Cove.

  • Her face is wrinkled, and her dim eyes are peering down the track which leads from the steading to the pasture.

British Dictionary definitions for steading


noun British

a farmstead
the outbuildings of a farm

Word Origin for steading

C15: from stead + -ing 1



(preceded by in) rare the place, function, or position that should be taken by anotherto come in someone's stead
stand someone in good stead to be useful or of good service to (someone)


(tr) archaic to help or benefit

Word Origin for stead

Old English stede; related to Old Norse stathr place, Old High German stat place, Latin statiō a standing, statim immediately



Christina (Ellen). 1902–83, Australian novelist. Her works include Seven Poor Men of Sydney (1934), The Man who Loved Children (1940), and Cotters' England (1966)
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 steading



Old English stede "place, position, standing, delay," related to standan "to stand," from Proto-Germanic *stadiz (cf. Old Saxon stedi, Old Norse staðr, Swedish stad, Dutch stede "place," Old High German stat, German Stadt "town," Gothic staþs "place"), from PIE *stetis-, from root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Now chiefly in compounds or phrases. "The sense 'town, city' for G. Stadt is a late development from c.1200 when the term began to replace Burg" [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with steading


see in someone's shoes (stead); stand in good stead. Also see under instead.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.