[stee-vi-dawr, -dohr]


a firm or individual engaged in the loading or unloading of a vessel.

verb (used with object), ste·ve·dored, ste·ve·dor·ing.

to load or unload the cargo of (a ship).

verb (used without object), ste·ve·dored, ste·ve·dor·ing.

to load or unload a vessel.

Origin of stevedore

1780–90, Americanism; < Spanish estibador, equivalent to estib(ar) to pack, stow (see steeve1) + -ador -ator Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stevedore

Historical Examples of stevedore

  • And Ogden Minot he pays me to be stevedore aboard his house yonder.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • He strips at one hundred and forty and can stand punishment like a stevedore.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • But our stevedore didn't tell all there was of the Orion and the Sirius.

    Sonnie-Boy's People

    James B. Connolly

  • "It's up to you now, Matie," the stevedore had said to the impatient first officer.

  • All the stevedore crew were members of the Wildcat's own race.

    Lady Luck

    Hugh Wiley

British Dictionary definitions for stevedore



a person employed to load or unload ships


to load or unload (a ship, ship's cargo, etc)

Word Origin for stevedore

C18: from Spanish estibador a packer, from estibar to load (a ship), from Latin stīpāre to pack full
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 stevedore

1788, from Spanish estibador "one who loads cargo," agent noun from estibar "to stow cargo," from Latin stipare "pack down, press" (see stiff (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper