[ stoo-erd, styoo- ]
/ ˈstu ərd, ˈstyu- /


verb (used with object)

to act as steward of; manage.

verb (used without object)

to act or serve as steward.

Origin of steward

before 900; Middle English; Old English stīweard, stigweard, equivalent to stig- (sense uncertain; probably “house, hall”; see sty1) + weard ward2
Related formsstew·ard·ship, nounun·der·stew·ard, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for steward

British Dictionary definitions for steward


/ (ˈstjʊəd) /



to act or serve as a steward (of something)
Derived Formsstewardship, noun

Word Origin for steward

Old English stigweard, from stig hall (see sty) + weard ward
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 steward



Old English stiward, stigweard "house guardian," from stig "hall, pen" + weard "guard." Used after the Conquest as the equivalent of Old French seneschal (q.v.). Meaning "overseer of workmen" is attested from c.1300. The sense of "officer on a ship in charge of provisions and meals" is first recorded mid-15c.; extended to trains 1906. This was the title of a class of high officers of the state in early England and Scotland, hence meaning "one who manages affairs of an estate on behalf of his employer" (late 14c.).

The Scottish form is reflected in Stewart, name of the royal house, from Walter (the) Steward, who married (1315) Marjorie de Bruce, daughter of King Robert. The terminal -t is a Scottish form (late 14c.). Stuart is a French spelling, attested from 1429 and adopted by Mary, Queen of Scots.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper