Also found in: Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to stadholder: Stadtholder, United Provinces, James I


 (stăd′hōl′dər) also stadt·hold·er (stăt′-)
1. A governor or viceroy formerly stationed in a province of the Netherlands.
2. The chief magistrate of the former Netherlands republic.

[Partial translation of Dutch stadhouder : Dutch stad, place; see stā- in Indo-European roots + Dutch houder, holder (from houden, to hold; akin to Old English healdan).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈstædˌhəʊldə) or


1. (Historical Terms) the chief magistrate of the former Dutch republic or of any of its provinces (from about 1580 to 1802)
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a viceroy or governor of a province
[C16: partial translation of Dutch stad houder, from stad city (see stead) + houder holder]
ˈstadˌholderate, ˈstadˌholdership ˈstadtˌholderate, ˈstadtˌholdership n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


also stadt•hold•er

(ˈstædˌhoʊl dər, ˈstæt-)

1. the chief magistrate of the former republic of the United Provinces of the Netherlands.
2. (formerly, in the Netherlands) the viceroy or governor of a province.
[1585–95; partial translation of Dutch stadhouder=stad place + houder holder; translation of Medieval Latin locum tenēns]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The aged Deborah and the meek Barak in De Bray's painting can scarcely be considered effective symbols of good government or strong leadership, despite the fact that Barak, dressed in the manner of the princes of Orange, clearly plays on the contemporary image of the Dutch stadholder and military leaders.
1632-1646: Painted for stadholder Frederick Henry a series of pictures about ChristEoe1/4aos Passion.
With the limited space and purpose we have here, suffice to say that William at an early age came under the mentorship of Habsburg Emperor Charles V, and under Charles' successor King Philip II of Spain, became governor general, or stadholder, in the northern regions of the Low Countries.
William Frederick, after a brisk and unpleasant competition for the offices with Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange and head of the family, became stadholder of Frisia, Groeningen, and Drenthe.
The persecution finally ended in 1625 when Frederik Henrik became the Stadholder. The decrees of the Synod were abolished in 1631 and a relative tolerance was established, a confessional pluralism, which included Remonstrants, Contra-Remonstrants, Catholics, Mennonites and Socinians.
(4) In 1769 Sirmen had dedicated a private publication of six string trios to Princess Wilhelmina of Orange, who in 1766 had married the Dutch stadholder William V (56).
Via Prospero's hope 'once again [to] make flourish [the] enchanted land', the play both captures and counters a then current sense of national malaise, as the conviction grew that the Dutch Republic had gone into decline after its Golden Age in the seventeenth century, not least because of constitutional problems involving the position of the Stadholder, whose hereditary ambitions clashed with the nation's original republican ideal.
He emphasizes his relationship with England, where the son of Mary Stuart I spent several months at the court of his English uncle Charles II before becoming Stadholder of five of the Dutch provinces in 1672, and thereafter constantly sought to bring England into his anti-French alliance.
In the Dutch state there is tension between the stadholder, or princely figurehead, and the regents, since the former tends to act out of political ambition, and the latter are concerned with trade and the creation of wealth.
Dutch captains of the voorcompagnien (the VOC's predecessors), such as Heemskerk who was employed and equipped by the Oude Amsterdamsche Compagnie, were issued express instructions from Stadholder Prince Maurice of Orange to 'defend' themselves against any party that might seek to impede their voyage or inflict harm, and to seek reparations for damages suffered.
Even the stadholder of the States of Holland in his position of commander-in-chief of army and navy was officially a servant of the States, because army and fleet (next to the whole central official apparatus of the Republic) were financed largely by taxation and loans provided by the fiscally autonomous provinces.