[stoo-erd, styoo-]
See more synonyms for steward on
  1. a person who manages another's property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others.
  2. a person who has charge of the household of another, buying or obtaining food, directing the servants, etc.
  3. an employee who has charge of the table, wine, servants, etc., in a club, restaurant, or the like.
  4. a person who attends to the domestic concerns of persons on board a vessel, as in overseeing maids and waiters.
  5. an employee on a ship, train, or bus who waits on and is responsible for the comfort of passengers, takes orders for or distributes food, etc.
  6. a flight attendant.
  7. a person appointed by an organization or group to supervise the affairs of that group at certain functions.
  8. U.S. Navy. a petty officer in charge of officer's quarters and mess.
verb (used with object)
  1. to act as steward of; manage.
verb (used without object)
  1. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for stewarding

Historical Examples of stewarding

  • And as for stewarding, I think it's time my brother gave that up, and took his House in hand on his sister's retiring.

    Our Mutual Friend

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for stewarding


  1. a person who administers the property, house, finances, etc, of another
  2. a person who manages the eating arrangements, staff, or service at a club, hotel, etc
  3. a person who attends to passengers on an aircraft, ship or train
  4. a mess attendant in a naval mess afloat or ashore
  5. a person who helps to supervise some event or proceedings in an official capacity
  6. short for shop steward
  1. 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 stewarding



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