stairway (n.) Look up stairway at Dictionary.com
1767, from stair + way (n.).
stairwell (n.) Look up stairwell at Dictionary.com
by 1862, from stair + well (n.).
stake (n.1) Look up stake at Dictionary.com
"pointed stick or post," Old English staca "pin, stake," from Proto-Germanic *stakon (source also of Old Norse stiaki, Danish stage, Old Frisian stake, Middle Dutch stake, Dutch staak, German stake), from PIE root *steg- (1) "pole, stick." The Germanic word has been borrowed in Spanish (estaca), Old French (estaque), and Italian stacca) and was borrowed back as attach.

Meaning "post upon which persons were bound for death by burning" is recorded from c. 1200. Meaning "vertical bar affixed to the edge of a platform of s truck, rail car, etc., to hold boards to keep the load from falling off" is from 1875; hence stake-body as a type of truck (1907). In pull up stakes, "The allusion is to pulling up the stakes of a tent" [Bartlett].
stake (v.1) Look up stake at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "to mark (land) with stakes," from stake (n.1). Hence, to stake a claim (1857). Meaning "to maintain surveilance" (usually stake out) is first recorded 1942, American English colloquial, probably form earlier sense of "mark off territory." Related: Staked; staking. Old English had stacung "piercing of an effigy by a pin or stake" (in witchcraft); staccan "pierce with a stake, spit."
stake (n.2) Look up stake at Dictionary.com
"that which is placed at hazard," 1530s, from stake (v.). Perhaps literally "that which is put up," from notion of "post on which a gambling wager was placed," though OED points out there is "no evidence of the existence of such a custom." Weekley suggests "there is a tinge of the burning or baiting metaphor" in this usage. Hence, "an interest, something to gain or lose" (1784). Plural stakes, "sum of money to be won in a (horse) race," first recorded 1690s (compare sweepstakes). To have a stake in is recorded from 1784.
stake (v.2) Look up stake at Dictionary.com
"to risk, wager," 1520s, perhaps from notion of "post on which a gambling wager was placed" (see stake (n.2)), though Weekley suggests "there is a tinge of the burning or baiting metaphor" in this usage. Meaning "to maintain surveillance" (usually stake out) is first recorded 1942, American English colloquial, probably form earlier sense of "mark off territory." Related: Staked; staking.
stake-holder (n.) Look up stake-holder at Dictionary.com
1708, from stake (n.2) + agent noun from hold (v.). Originally one with whom bets are deposited when a wager is made.
stake-out (n.) Look up stake-out at Dictionary.com
1942, from stake (v.2) + out (adv.).
Stakhanovite (n.) Look up Stakhanovite at Dictionary.com
1935, from name of hard-working Soviet coal miner Aleksei Grigorevich Stakhanov (1906-1977), in reference to an efficiency system in which workers increase their piecework production and are rewarded with bonuses and privileges. Soviet authorities publicized his prodigious output as part of a campaign to increase productivity.
stalactite (n.) Look up stalactite at Dictionary.com
"hanging formation of carbonite of lime from the roof of a cave," 1670s, Englished from Modern Latin stalactites (used 1654 by Olaus Wormius), from Greek stalaktos "dripping, oozing out in drops," from stalassein "to trickle," from PIE root *stag- "to seep, drip, drop" (source also of German stallen, Lithuanian telziu "to urinate") + noun suffix -ite (1). Related: Stalactic; stalactitic.
stalag (n.) Look up stalag at Dictionary.com
"German POW camp," 1940, from German Stalag, short for stammlager "main camp," from Old High German stam "stem," from Proto-Germanic *stamniz (see stem (n.)).
stalagmite (n.) Look up stalagmite at Dictionary.com
cone-shaped formation of carbonate of lime on the floor of a cave, 1680s, from Modern Latin stalagmites (1650s, Olaus Wormius), from Greek stalagmos "a dropping," or stalagma "a drop, drip, that which drops," from stalassein "to trickle" (see stalactite). Related: Stalagmitic; stalagmitical.
stale (adj.) Look up stale at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "freed from dregs or lees" (of ale, wine, etc.), probably literally "having stood long enough to clear," ultimately from PIE root *stā- "to stand" (see stet); probably via Old French estal "placed, fixed position," from Frankish *stal- "position" (see stall (n.1)).

Cognate with Middle Dutch stel "stale" (of beer and old urine). Originally a desirable quality (in beer and wine); the meaning "not fresh" is first recorded late 15c. Figurative sense (of immaterial things) "old and trite, hackneyed" is recorded from 1560s. As a noun, "that which has become tasteless by exposure," hence "a prostitute" (in Shakespeare, etc.). Related: Staleness.
stale (v.) Look up stale at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from stale (adj.). Related: Staled; staling.
stalemate (n.) Look up stalemate at Dictionary.com
1765, in chess, from stale "stalemate" (early 15c.) + mate (n.2) "checkmate." Middle English stale is probably from Anglo-French estale "standstill" (see stall (n.2)). A misnomer, because a stale is not a mate. "In England from the 17th c. to the beginning of the 19th c. the player who received stalemate won the game" [OED]. Figurative sense is recorded from 1885. As a verb from 1765; figurative from 1861.
Stalin Look up Stalin at Dictionary.com
Russian, literally "steel," assumed name of Soviet Communist Party and Soviet Union leader Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (1879-1953). Also see Molotov.
Stalingrad Look up Stalingrad at Dictionary.com
name of southern Russian city from 1925-1961, from Stalin (q.v.) + -grad (see yard (n.1)). Now Volgograd, formerly Tsaritsyn (1589), from Turkish sarisin "yellowish," in reference to the river water, but associated in Russian with Tsar.
Stalinism (n.) Look up Stalinism at Dictionary.com
1927, from Stalin + -ism. Related: Stalinist.
stalk (n.) Look up stalk at Dictionary.com
"stem of a plant," early 14c., probably a diminutive (with -k suffix) of stale "one of the uprights of a ladder, handle, stalk," from Old English stalu "wooden part" (of a tool or instrument), from Proto-Germanic *stalla- (source also of Old English steala "stalk, support," steall "place"), from PIE *stol-no-, suffixed form of *stol-, variant of root *stel- "to put, stand" (see stall (n.1)). Of similar structures in animals from 1826.
stalk (v.1) Look up stalk at Dictionary.com
"pursue stealthily," Old English -stealcian, as in bestealcian "to steal along, walk warily," from Proto-Germanic *stalkon, frequentative of PIE *stel-, possibly a variant of *ster- (3) "to rob, steal" (see steal (v.)). Compare hark/hear, talk/tell). In another view the Old English word might be from a sense of stalk (v.1), influenced by stalk (n.). Meaning "harass obsessively" first recorded 1991. Related: Stalked; stalking.

A stalking-horse in literal use was a horse draped in trappings and trained to allow a fowler to conceal himself behind it to get within range of the game; figurative sense of "person who participates in a proceeding to disguise its real purpose" is recorded from 1610s.
stalk (v.2) Look up stalk at Dictionary.com
"walk haughtily" (nearly the opposite meaning of stalk (v.1)), 1520s, perhaps from stalk (n.) with a notion of "long, awkward strides," or from Old English stealcung "a stalking, act of going stealthily," related to stealc "steep, lofty."
stalker (n.) Look up stalker at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "a poacher;" also "one who prowls for purposes of theft" (c. 1500), agent noun from stalk (v.1). Meaning "obsessive harasser" is from early 1990s.
stall (n.1) Look up stall at Dictionary.com
"place in a stable for animals," Old English steall "standing place, position, state; place where cattle are kept, fishing ground," from Proto-Germanic *stalla- (source also of Old Norse stallr "pedestal for idols, altar; crib, manger," Old Frisian stal, Old High German stall "stand, place, stable, stall," German Stall "stable," Stelle "place"), from PIE root *stel- "to put, stand," with derivatives referring to a standing object or place (source also of Greek stele "standing block, slab," stellein "to set in order, arrange, array, equip, make ready;" Latin stolidus "insensible, dull, brutish," properly "unmovable").

Meaning "partially enclosed seat in a choir" is attested from c. 1400; that of "urinal in a men's room" is from 1967. Several meanings, including that of "a stand for selling" (mid-13c., implied in stallage), probably are from (or influenced by) Anglo-French and Old French estal "station, position; stall of a stable; stall in a market; a standing still; a standing firm" (12c., Modern French étal "butcher's stall"). This, along with Italian stallo "place," stalla "stable" is a borrowing from a Germanic source from the same root as the native English word.
stall (n.2) Look up stall at Dictionary.com
"pretense or evasive story to avoid doing something," 1812, from earlier sense "thief's assistant" (1590s, also staller), from a variant of stale "bird used as a decoy to lure other birds" (mid-15c.), from Anglo-French estale "decoy, pigeon used to lure a hawk" (13c., compare stool pigeon), literally "standstill," from Old French estal "place, stand, stall," from Frankish *stal- "position," ultimately from Germanic and cognate with Old English steall (see stall (n.1)). Compare Old English stælhran "decoy reindeer," German stellvogel "decoy bird." Figurative sense of "deception, means of allurement" is first recorded 1520s. Also see stall (v.2).
The stallers up are gratified with such part of the gains acquired as the liberality of the knuckling gentlemen may prompt them to bestow. [J.H. Vaux, "Flash Dictionary," 1812]
stall (v.2) Look up stall at Dictionary.com
1590s, "distract a victim and thus screen a pickpocket from observation," from stall (n.2) "decoy." Meaning "to prevaricate, be evasive, play for time" is attested from 1903. Related: Stalled; stalling. Compare old slang stalling ken "house for receiving stolen goods" (1560s).
stall (v.1) Look up stall at Dictionary.com
"to come to a stand" (intransitive), c. 1400; "to become stuck or be set fast," mid-15c., from Old French estale or Old English steall (see stall (n.1)). Transitive sense "place in office, install" is 14c.; specifically "place an animal in a stall" (late 14c.). Of engines or engine-powered vehicles, it is attested from 1904 (transitive), 1914 (intransitive); of aircraft "to lose lift," 1910. Related: Stalled; stalling.
stall (n.3) Look up stall at Dictionary.com
"action of losing lift, power, or motion," 1918 of aircraft, 1959 of automobile engines, from stall (v.1).
stallage (n.) Look up stallage at Dictionary.com
"tax levied for the privilege of erecting a stall at a market or fair," late 14c. (mid-13c. in Anglo-Latin), from stall (n.1) + -age.
stalling (n.) Look up stalling at Dictionary.com
"action of being evasive," 1927, verbal noun from stall (v.2).
stallion (n.) Look up stallion at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., earlier staloun (c. 1300), "male horse kept for breeding purposes," from Anglo-French estaloun, Old French estalon "stallion, uncastrated male horse" (Modern French étalon), from Frankish *stal, cognate with Old High German stal "stable," from Proto-Germanic *stalla- (see stall (n.1)). The notion is probably of a horse kept in a stable to service mares. Transferred sense of "robustly lascivious man" is attested from 1550s.
stalwart (adj.) Look up stalwart at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "resolute, determined," Scottish variant of stalworth, from Old English stælwierðe "good, serviceable," probably a contracted compound of staðol "base, foundation, support; stability, security" (from Proto-Germanic *stathlaz, from PIE root *stā- "to stand, set down, make or be firm;" see stet) + wierðe "good, excellent, worthy" (see worth). Another theory traces the first element of stælwierðe to Old English stæl "place," from Proto-Germanic *stælaz.
stamen (n.) Look up stamen at Dictionary.com
"pollen-bearing organ of a flower," 1660s, from Modern Latin (1625, Spigelus), from Latin stamen "stamen" (Pliny), literally "foundation in weaving, thread of the warp" in the upright loom (related to stare "to stand"), from PIE *sta-men- (source also of Greek stemon "warp," also used by Hesychius for some part of a plant, Gothic stoma, Sanskrit sthaman "place," also "strength"), from root *stā- "to stand" (see stet). The usual English plural is stamens because of the special use of the classical plural, stamina.
stamina (n.) Look up stamina at Dictionary.com
1670s, "rudiments or original elements of something," from Latin stamina "threads," plural of stamen (genitive staminis) "thread, warp" (see stamen). Sense of "power to resist or recover, strength, endurance" first recorded 1726 (originally plural), from earlier meaning "congenital vital capacities of a person or animal;" also in part from use of the Latin word in reference to the threads spun by the Fates (such as queri nimio de stamine "too long a thread of life"), and partly from a figurative use of Latin stamen "the warp (of cloth)" on the notion of the warp as the "foundation" of a fabric. Related: Staminal.
Stammbaum (n.) Look up Stammbaum at Dictionary.com
German, "family tree," especially of languages, 1939, from Stamm "tree, trunk" (see stem (n.)) + Baum "tree" (see beam (n.)).
stammer (v.) Look up stammer at Dictionary.com
Old English stamerian "to stammer," from Proto-Germanic *stamro- (source also of Old Norse stammr "stammering," Old Saxon stamaron, Gothic stamms "stammering," Middle Dutch and Dutch stameren, Old High German stammalon, German stammeln "to stammer," a frequentative verb related to adjective forms such as Old Frisian and German stumm "mute"). Related: Stammered; stammerer; stammering; stammeringly.
stammer (n.) Look up stammer at Dictionary.com
1773, from stammer (v.).
stammtisch (n.) Look up stammtisch at Dictionary.com
1938, "table reserved for regular customers in a German restaurant," from German Stammtisch, from Stamm "cadre," literally "tree, trunk" (see stem (n.)) + tisch "table" (see dish (n.)).
stamp (v.) Look up stamp at Dictionary.com
Old English stempan "to pound in a mortar," from Proto-Germanic *stamp- (source also of Old Norse stappa, Danish stampe, Middle Dutch stampen, Old High German stampfon, German stampfen "to stamp with the foot, beat, pound," German Stampfe "pestle"), from nasalized form of PIE root *stebh- "to support, place firmly on" (source also of Greek stembein "to trample, misuse;" see staff (n.)). The vowel altered in Middle English, perhaps by influence of Scandinavian forms.

Sense of "strike the foot forcibly downwards" is from mid-14c. The meaning "impress or mark (something) with a die" is first recorded 1550s. Italian stampa "stamp, impression," Spanish estampar "to stamp, print," French étamper (13c., Old French estamper) "to stamp, impress" are Germanic loan-words. Related: Stamped; stamping. To stamp out originally was "extinguish a fire by stamping on it;" attested from 1851 in the figurative sense. Stamping ground "one's particular territory" (1821) is from the notion of animals. A stamped addressed envelope (1873) was one you enclosed in a letter to speed or elicit a reply.
stamp (n.) Look up stamp at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "instrument for crushing, stamping tool," from stamp (v.). Especially "instrument for making impressions" (1570s). Meaning "downward thrust or blow with the foot, act of stamping" is from 1580s. Sense of "official mark or imprint" (to certify that duty has been paid on what has been printed or written) dates from 1540s; transferred 1837 to designed, pre-printed adhesive labels issued by governments to serve the same purpose as impressed stamps. German Stempel "rubber stamp, brand, postmark" represents a diminutive form. Stamp-collecting is from 1862 (compare philately).
stampede (n.) Look up stampede at Dictionary.com
1844 (earlier stampedo, 1839), "A general scamper of animals on the Western prairies, generally caused by a fright" [Bartlett] from Mexican Spanish estampida, from Spanish, "an uproar," from estamper "to stamp, press, pound," from Provençal estampier "to stamp," from the same Germanic root that yielded English stamp (v.). The political sense is first recorded 1846 (in reference to the U.S. Democratic Party convention of 1844). As the name of an annual exhibition of cowboy skills in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, it is attested from 1912.
stampede (v.) Look up stampede at Dictionary.com
1823 (intransitive); 1838 (transitive), from stampede (n.). Related: Stampeded; stampeding.
stance (n.) Look up stance at Dictionary.com
1530s, "standing place, station," probably from Middle French stance "resting place, harbor" (16c.), from Vulgar Latin *stantia "place, abode" (also source of Italian stanza "stopping place, station, stanza," Spanish stancia "a dwelling"), from Latin stans (genitive stantis), present participle of stare "to stand," from PIE root *stā- "to stand" (see stet). Sense of "position of the feet" (in golf, etc.) is first recorded 1897; figurative sense of "point of view" is recorded from 1956. The sense of the French word has since narrowed.
stanch (v.) Look up stanch at Dictionary.com
"to stop the flow of" (especially of blood), early 14c., from Old French estanchier "cause to cease flowing (of blood), stop, hinder; extinguish (of fire); tire, exhaust, drain" (Modern French étancher), from Vulgar Latin *stancare, perhaps contracted from *stagnicare, from Latin stagnum "pond, pool" (see stagnate). But Barnhart says it probably is from Latin stantio, present participle of stare "to stand."
stanchion (n.) Look up stanchion at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "post, pillar, or beam used for support," from Old French estanchon "prop, brace, support" (13c., Modern French étançon), probably from estant "upright," from present participle of ester "be upright, stand," from Latin stare "to stand," from PIE root *stā- "to stand" (see stet).
stand (v.) Look up stand at Dictionary.com
Old English standan "occupy a place; stand firm; congeal; stay, continue, abide; be valid, be, exist, take place; oppose, resist attack; stand up, be on one's feet; consist, amount to" (class VI strong verb; past tense stod, past participle standen), from Proto-Germanic *sta-n-d- (source also of Old Norse standa, Old Saxon and Gothic standan, Old High German stantan, parallel with simpler forms, such as Swedish stå, Dutch staan, German stehen [see discussion in OED]), from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet).

Sense of "to exist, be present" is attested from c. 1300. Meaning "encounter without flinching" is from 1590s; weaker sense of "put up with" is from 1620s. Meaning "to submit" (to chances, etc.) is from c. 1700. Meaning "to pay for as a treat" is from 1821. Meaning "become a candidate for office" is from 1550s. Nautical sense of "hold a course at sea" is from 1620s. Meaning "to be so high when standing" is from 1831.

Stand back "keep (one's) distance" is from c. 1400. Phrase stand pat is from poker (1882), earlier simply stand (1824 in other card games). To stand down is from 1680s, originally of witnesses in court; in the military sense of "come off duty" it is first recorded 1916. To let (something) stand is from c. 1200. To stand for is c. 1300 as "count for;" early 14c. as "be considered in lieu of;" late 14c. as "represent by way of sign;" sense of "tolerate" first recorded 1620s. Phrase stands to reason (1620) is from earlier stands (is constant) with reason.
stand (n.) Look up stand at Dictionary.com
Old English stand "a pause, delay, state of rest or inaction," from the root of stand (v.). Compare Dutch and German stand (n.). Sense of "action of standing or coming to a position" is attested from late 14c., especially in reference to fighting (1590s). Sense of "state of being unable to proceed" is from 1590s.

Meaning "place of standing, position" is from early 14c.; figurative sense is from 1590s. Meaning "raised platform for a hunter or sportsman" is attested from c. 1400. Meaning "raised platform for spectators at an open-air event" is from 1610s; meaning "piece of furniture on which something is to be set" is from 1690s. Sense of "stall or booth" is first recorded c. 1500. Military meaning "complete set" (of arms, colors, etc.) is from 1721, often a collective singular. Sense of "standing growth" (usually of of trees) is 1868, American English. Theatrical sense of "each stop made on a performance tour" is from 1896. The word formerly also was slang for "an erection" (1867).
stand-alone (adj.) Look up stand-alone at Dictionary.com
1966, from stand (v.) + alone.
stand-by (n.) Look up stand-by at Dictionary.com
also standby, 1796, "that which stands by one," originally nautical, of a vessel kept nearby for emergencies, from verbal phrase stand by "await, support, remain beside" (mid-13c.); see stand (v.) + by. Meaning "state of being ready for duty" is from 1946. In civil aviation, as an adjective meaning "without a booked ticket," from 1961. As an order to hold one's self in readiness, it is recorded from 1660s.
stand-in (n.) Look up stand-in at Dictionary.com
"one who substitutes for another," 1928, from the verbal phrase, attested from 1904 in show business slang in the sense "to substitute, to fill the place of another," from stand (v.) + in (adv.).
stand-off (n.) Look up stand-off at Dictionary.com
also stand-off, 1843, "draw, tie," from the verbal phrase (c. 1600), from stand (v.) + off (adv.). Mexican stand-off "stalemate" is recorded from 1891.