stage-struck (adj.) Look up stage-struck at
"possessed by a passionate desire to perform on stage," 1813, from stage (n.) + past participle adjective from strike (v.). Earlier was stage-smitten (1680s).
stagecoach (n.) Look up stagecoach at
also stage-coach, 1650s, from stage (n.) in a sense of "division of a journey without stopping for rest" (c. 1600) + coach (n.).
stagecraft (n.) Look up stagecraft at
also stage-craft, 1848, from stage (n.) + craft (n.).
staged (adj.) Look up staged at
1560s, "appearing on a stage," past participle adjective from stage (v.). Meaning "proceeding in stages" is from 1960.
stagflation (n.) Look up stagflation at
1965, apparently coined by U.K. politician Iain Macleod (1913-1970), from stag(nation) + (in)flation.
Attacking the Government's economic policy last night in the House of Commons, Mr. Iain Macleod (West Enfield - Con.) the Opposition spokesman on Treasury and economic affairs, described the present situation in Britain as "stagflation" -- stagnation and inflation together. ["Glasgow Herald," Nov. 18, 1965]
staggard (n.) Look up staggard at
"stag in its fourth year," thus not quite full-grown, c. 1400, from stag + -ard.
stagger (v.) Look up stagger at
mid-15c., "walk unsteadily, reel" (intransitive), altered from stakeren (early 14c.), from a Scandinavian source (compare Old Danish stagra, Old Norse stakra "to push, shove, cause to reel," also "to stumble, stagger," perhaps literally "hit with a stick," from Proto-Germanic *stakon- "a stake," from PIE *steg- (1) "pole, stick." Cognate with Dutch staggelen "to stagger," German staggeln "to stammer." Transitive sense of "bewilder, amaze" first recorded 1550s; that of "arrange in a zig-zag pattern" is from 1856. Related: Staggered; staggering.
staggering (adj.) Look up staggering at
"amazing," 1560s, figurative present participle adjective from stagger (v.). Related: Staggeringly.
staging (n.) Look up staging at
"temporary structure or support," early 14c., verbal noun from stage (v.). As an adjective to designate "stopping place or assembly point," 1945.
stagnant (adj.) Look up stagnant at
1660s, from French stagnant (early 17c.), from Latin stagnantem (nominative stagnans), present participle of stagnare "to stagnate" (see stagnate). Related: Stagnancy (1650s); stagnantly.
stagnate (v.) Look up stagnate at
1660s, from Latin stagnatum, stagnatus, past participle of stagnare "to stagnate," from stagnatum "standing water, pond, swamp," perhaps from a PIE root *stag- "to seep drip" (cognates: Greek stazein "to ooze, drip;" see stalactite). Figurative use by 1709. Related: Stagnated; stagnating.
stagnation (n.) Look up stagnation at
1660s, noun of action from stagnate (v.).
stagy (adj.) Look up stagy at
also stagey, 1845, from stage (n.) in the theatrical sense + -y (2). Related: Staginess.
staid (adj.) Look up staid at
1540s, "fixed, permanent," adjectival use of stayed, past participle of stay (v.). Meaning "sober, sedate" first recorded 1550s. Related: Staidly.
stain (v.) Look up stain at
late 14c., "damage or blemish the appearance of," probably representing a merger of Old Norse steina "to paint, color, stain," and a shortened form of Middle English disteynen "to discolor or stain," from Old French desteign-, stem of desteindre "to remove the color" (Modern French déteindre), from des- (from Latin dis- "remove;" see dis-) + Old French teindre "to dye," from Latin tingere (see tincture). Meaning "to color" (fabric, wood, etc.) is from 1650s. Intransitive sense "to become stained, take stain" is from 1877. Related: Stained; staining. Stained glass is attested from 1791.
stain (n.) Look up stain at
1560s, "act of staining," from stain (v.). Meaning "a stain mark, discoloration produced by foreign matter" is from 1580s. Meaning "dye used in staining" is from 1758.
stainless (adj.) Look up stainless at
1580s, from stain (n.) + -less. Related: Stainlessly. Stainless steel is from 1917, a chromium-steel alloy (usually 14% chromium) used for cutlery, etc., so called because it is highly resistant to rust or tarnish.
stair (n.) Look up stair at
Old English stæger "stair, flight of steps, staircase," from Proto-Germanic *staigri (cognates: Middle Dutch stegher, Dutch steiger "a stair, step, quay, pier, scaffold;" German Steig "path," Old English stig "narrow path"), from PIE *steigh- "go, rise, stride, step, walk" (cognates: Greek steikhein "to go, march in order," stikhos "row, line, rank, verse;" Sanskrit stighnoti "mounts, rises, steps;" Old Church Slavonic stignati "to overtake," stigna "place;" Lithuanian staiga "suddenly;" Old Irish tiagaim "I walk;" Welsh taith "going, walk, way"). Originally also a collective plural; stairs developed by late 14c.
staircase (n.) Look up staircase at
also stair-case, 1620s, originally the enclosure of the stairs, from stair + case (n.2) in its sense "frame;" compare former window-case, door-case.
stairway (n.) Look up stairway at
1767, from stair + way (n.).
stairwell (n.) Look up stairwell at
by 1862, from stair + well (n.).
stake (n.1) Look up stake at
"pointed stick or post," Old English staca "pin, stake," from Proto-Germanic *stakon (cognates: 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
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 (v.2) Look up stake at
"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 (n.2) Look up stake at
"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-holder (n.) Look up stake-holder at
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
1942, from stake (v.2) + out (adv.).
Stakhanovite (n.) Look up Stakhanovite at
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
"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" (cognates: German stallen, Lithuanian telziu "to urinate") + noun suffix -ite (1). Related: Stalactic; stalactitic.
stalag (n.) Look up stalag at
"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
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
early 13c., "freed from dregs or lees" (of ale, wine, etc.), probably literally "having stood long enough to clear," ultimately from PIE root *sta- "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
mid-15c., from stale (adj.). Related: Staled; staling.
stalemate (n.) Look up stalemate at
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
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
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
1927, from Stalin + -ism. Related: Stalinist.
stalk (n.) Look up stalk at
"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- (cognates: 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
"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
"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
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
"place in a stable for animals," Old English steall "standing place, position, state; place where cattle are kept, fishing ground," from Proto-Germanic *stalla- (cognates: 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 (cognates: 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
"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
1590s, "distract a victim and thus screen a pickpocket from observation," from stall (n.2) "decoy." Meaning "to precaricate, 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
"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
"action of losing lift, power, or motion," 1918 of aircraft, 1959 of automobile engines, from stall (v.1).
stallage (n.) Look up stallage at
"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
"action of being evasive," 1927, verbal noun from stall (v.2).
stallion (n.) Look up stallion at
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
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 *sta- "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.