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sty1

[stahy]
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noun, plural sties.
  1. a pen or enclosure for swine; pigpen.
  2. any filthy place or abode.
  3. a place of bestial debauchery.
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verb (used with object), stied, sty·ing.
  1. to keep or lodge in or as if in a sty.
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verb (used without object), stied, sty·ing.
  1. to live in or as if in a sty.
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Origin of sty1

before 1000; (noun) Middle English; Old English *stī in stī-fearh sty-pig; probably identical with stig- in stigweard steward; cognate with Old Norse stī, Dutch stijg, German Steige

sty2

or stye

[stahy]
noun, plural sties. Ophthalmology.
  1. a circumscribed abscess caused by bacterial infection of the glands on the edge of the eyelid; hordeolum.
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Origin of sty2

1610–20; by false division of Middle English styanye sty (styan (Old English stīgend sty, literally, rising) + ye eye), taken to be sty on eye
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for sties

sty

noun plural sties
  1. a pen in which pigs are housed and fed
  2. any filthy or corrupt place
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verb sties, stying or stied
  1. to enclose or be enclosed in a sty
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Word Origin

Old English stig; related to Old Norse stīa pen, fold, Old High German stīga, Middle Dutch stije
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 sties

sty

n.1

"pen for pigs," Old English sti, stig "hall, pen" (in sti-fearh), from Proto-Germanic *stijan (cf. Old Norse stia "sty, kennel," Old High German stiga "pen for small cattle").

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sty

n.2

"inflamed swelling in the eyelid," 1610s, probably a back-formation from Middle English styany (as though sty on eye), mid-15c., from Old English stigend "sty," literally "riser," from present participle of stigan "go up, rise," from Proto-Germanic *stig- (see stair).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sties in Medicine

sty

n. pl. sties
  1. Inflammation of one or more sebaceous glands of an eyelid.hordeolum
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.