a portable or fixed apparatus that furnishes heat for warmth, cooking, etc., commonly using coal, oil, gas, wood, or electricity as a source of power.
a heated chamber or box for some special purpose, as a drying room or a kiln for firing pottery.

verb (used with object), stoved, stov·ing.

to treat with or subject to heat, as in a stove.

Origin of stove

1425–75; (noun) late Middle English: sweat bath, heated room, probably < Middle Dutch, Middle Low German, cognate with Old English stofa, stofu heated room for bathing, Old High German stuba (German Stube room; cf. bierstube), Old Norse stofa; early Germanic borrowing < Vulgar Latin *extupa, *extūpa (> French étuve sweat room of a bath; cf. stew1), noun derivative of *extūpāre, *extūfāre to fill with vapor, equivalent to Latin ex- ex-1 + Vulgar Latin *-tūfāre < Greek tȳ́phein to raise smoke, smoke, akin to tŷphos fever (see typhus); alternatively explained as a native Germanic base, borrowed into Romance (cf. izba); (v.) late Middle English stoven to subject to hot-air bath, derivative of the noun




a simple past tense and past participle of stave.




one of the thin, narrow, shaped pieces of wood that form the sides of a cask, tub, or similar vessel.
a stick, rod, pole, or the like.
a rung of a ladder, chair, etc.
  1. a verse or stanza of a poem or song.
  2. the alliterating sound in a line of verse, as the w-sound in wind in the willows.

verb (used with object), staved or stove, stav·ing.

to break in a stave or staves of (a cask or barrel) so as to release the wine, liquor, or other contents.
to release (wine, liquor, etc.) by breaking the cask or barrel.
to break or crush (something) inward (often followed by in).
to break (a hole) in, especially in the hull of a boat.
to break to pieces; splinter; smash.
to furnish with a stave or staves.
to beat with a stave or staff.

verb (used without object), staved or stove, stav·ing.

to become staved in, as a boat; break in or up.
to move along rapidly.

Verb Phrases

stave off,
  1. to put, ward, or keep off, as by force or evasion.
  2. to prevent in time; forestall: He wasn't able to stave off bankruptcy.

Origin of stave

1125–75; (noun) Middle English, back formation from staves; (v.) derivative of the noun
Related formsun·staved, adjective

Synonyms for stave

4. See verse. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stove

Contemporary Examples of stove

Historical Examples of stove

British Dictionary definitions for stove




another word for cooker (def. 1)
any heating apparatus, such as a kiln

verb (tr)

to process (ceramics, metalwork, etc) by heating in a stove
Scot to stew (meat, vegetables, etc)

Word Origin for stove

Old English stofa bathroom; related to Old High German stuba steam room, Greek tuphos smoke




a past tense and past participle of stave



any one of a number of long strips of wood joined together to form a barrel, bucket, boat hull, etc
any of various bars, slats, or rods, usually of wood, such as a rung of a ladder or a crosspiece bracing the legs of a chair
any stick, staff, etc
a stanza or verse of a poem
  1. Britishan individual group of five lines and four spaces used in staff notation
  2. another word for staff 1 (def. 9)

verb staves, staving, staved or stove

(often foll by in) to break or crush (the staves of a boat, barrel, etc) or (of the staves of a boat) to be broken or crushed
(tr usually foll by in) to burst or force (a hole in something)
(tr) to provide (a ladder, chair, etc) with a stave or staves
(tr) Scot to sprain (a finger, toe, etc)

Word Origin for stave

C14: back formation from staves, plural of staff 1
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 stove

mid-15c., "heated room, bath-room," from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch stove, both meaning "heated room," which was the original sense in English; a general West Germanic word (cf. Old English stofa "bath-room," German Stube "sitting room") of uncertain relationship to similar words in Romance languages (cf. Italian stufa, French étuve "sweating-room;" see stew (v.)). One theory traces them all to Vulgar Latin *extufare "take a steam bath." The meaning "device for heating or cooking" is first recorded 1610s. Stove pipe is recorded from 1690s; as a type of tall cylindrical hat for men, from 1851.



"piece of a barrel," 1750, back-formation from staves (late 14c.), plural of staff (cf. leaves/leaf), possibly from Old English, but not recorded there. The verb (to stave in, past tense stove) is 1590s, originally nautical, on notion of bashing in the staves of a cask and letting out the contents; stave off (1620s) is literally "keep off with a staff," as of dogs.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper