Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

stay 1

v. stayed, stay·ing, stays
a. To continue to be in a place or condition: stay home; stay calm.
b. To remain or sojourn as a guest or lodger: stayed at a motel.
c. To linger or wait in order to do or experience something: We stayed to watch the final minutes of the game.
a. To continue or persist in an action or activity: stayed with the original plan; stayed in college.
b. To keep up in a race or contest: tried to stay with the lead runner.
3. Games To meet a bet in poker without raising it.
4. Archaic To stop moving or stop doing something.
1. To remain during: stayed the week with my parents; stayed the duration of the game.
a. To stop or restrain; check: Doubt stayed his hand.
b. To suspend by legal order the implementation of (a planned action), especially pending further proceedings: stay a prisoner's execution.
3. To satisfy or appease temporarily: stayed his anger.
4. Archaic To wait for; await: "I will not stay thy questions. Let me go; / Or if thou follow me, do not believe / But I shall do thee mischief in the wood" (Shakespeare).
1. A brief period of residence or visiting.
2. Law
a. The order by which a planned action is stayed.
b. The consequence of such an order.
3. Archaic
a. The act of halting; check.
b. The act of coming to a halt.
Phrasal Verb:
stay up
To remain awake past one's usual bedtime; not go to bed.
stay put
To remain in a fixed or established position.
stay the course
To hold out or persevere to the end of a race or challenge.
stay with (one)
To remain in one's memory; not be forgotten: That kind of compliment stays with you for years.

[Middle English steien, from Old French ester, esteir, from Latin stāre; see stā- in Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: stay1, linger, remain, tarry1, wait
These verbs mean to continue to be in a given place: stayed in bed until noon; lingered at the mall for an entire afternoon; remained on the subway until the very last stop; tarried in the hallway until he was late for class; waited for the movie credits to end before she left the theater.

stay 2

tr.v. stayed, stay·ing, stays
To brace, support, or prop up: The tower is stayed with cables.
1. A support or brace.
2. A strip of bone, plastic, or metal, used to stiffen a garment or part, such as a corset or shirt collar.
3. stays A corset.

[Middle English staien, from Old French estaiier, from estaie, a support, of Germanic origin.]

stay 3

1. Nautical A heavy rope or cable, usually of wire, used as a brace or support for a mast or spar.
2. A rope used to steady, guide, or brace.
tr. & intr.v. stayed, stay·ing, stays Nautical
To put (a ship) on the opposite tack or to come about.

[Middle English, from Old English stæg.]


pl n
(Clothing & Fashion) rare corsets with bones in them


pl n
1. (Nautical Terms) a position of a sailing vessel relative to the wind so that the sails are luffing or aback. Compare irons2
2. (Nautical Terms) miss stays refuse stays (of a sailing vessel) to fail to come about
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.stays - a woman's close-fitting foundation garmentstays - a woman's close-fitting foundation garment
foundation garment, foundation - a woman's undergarment worn to give shape to the contours of the body
panty girdle - a woman's undergarment that combines a girdle and panties
References in classic literature ?
Is Beth the rosy one, who stays at home good deal and sometimes goes out with a little basket?
The wind, which had been freshening, now sang in louder tones as it hummed through the rigging and the funnel stays and bowled over the receiving conductors of the wireless.
He's a kind of person, they say, that seldom breaks his habits, or stays out o' nights.
And every morning, perched on our stays, rows of these birds were seen; and spite of our hootings, for a long time obstinately clung to the hemp, as though they deemed our ship some drifting, uninhabited craft; a thing appointed to desolation, and therefore fit roosting-place for their homeless selves.
Yet not to speak of the peril of the thing, it is to be doubted whether this course is always the best; for it is but reasonable to presume, that the longer the stricken whale stays under water, the more he is exhausted.
One long arm of it is blind, and the filth stays there forever and a day.
But it's awluz jis' so; people dat's SOT, stays sot; dey won't look into noth'n'en fine it out f'r deyselves, en when YOU fine it out en tell um 'bout it, dey doan' b'lieve you.
Now the cussed thing's ready, Sawbones, and you'll just out with another five, or here she stays.
Cobb, "but you notice she stays right to home, and she's more close-mouthed than ever she was; never took a mite o' pride in the prize, as I could see, though it pretty nigh drove Jeremiah out o' his senses.
He stays till tomorrow, and Miss Fairfax has been persuaded to spend the day with us.
Yet it seems to me your life is hardly secure while she stays.
If he does live and that Indian child stays here I'll warrant she teaches him that thewhole orange does not belong to him, as Susan Sowerby says.