stand-off (n.) Look up stand-off at
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.
stand-out (n.) Look up stand-out at
also standout, "one who is eminent," 1928; as an adjective in this sense from 1932; from verbal phrase, from stand (v.) + out (adv.). Earlier it was used in a sense "labor strike" (1898). To stand out is from 1530s as "to project or seem to project," 1826 in the figurative sense "be prominent."
stand-pipe (n.) Look up stand-pipe at
"upright pipe," in various technical senses, 1810, from stand (v.) + pipe (n.).
stand-up (adj.) Look up stand-up at
1811, "courageous," originally of fist fights, denoting a manful contest without fake falls, from the verbal phrase (early 12c. in sense "rise to one's feet"), from stand (v.) + up (adv.). To stand up "hold oneself against an opponent" is from c. 1600; as stand up to in the same sense from 1620s. To stand up for "defend the cause of" is from c. 1600. To stand (someone) up "fail to keep an appointment" is attested from 1902. Stand-up comic first attested 1966. Catch-phrase will the real _______ please stand up? is from the popular CBS game show "To Tell the Truth," which debuted in 1956.
standard (n.1) Look up standard at
mid-12c., "flag or other conspicuous object to serve as a rallying point for a military force," from shortened form of Old French estandart "military standard, banner." According to Barnhart and others, this is probably from Frankish *standhard, literally "stand fast or firm," a compound of unrecorded Frankish words cognate stand (v.) and hard. So called because the flag was fixed to a pole or spear and stuck in the ground to stand upright. The more common theory [OED, etc.] calls this folk-etymology and connects the Old French word to estendre "to stretch out," from Latin extendere (see extend). Some senses (such as "upright pole," mid-15c.) seem to be influenced by if not from stand (v.). Standard-bearer in the figurative sense is from 1560s.
standard (adj.) Look up standard at
1620s, "serving as a standard," from standard (adj.). Earlier it meant "upright" (1530s). Standard-bred "bred up to some agreed-upon standard of excellence" is from 1888.
standard (n.2) Look up standard at
"weight, measure, or instrument by which the accuracy of others is determined," late 14c., from standard (n.1) "military standard, banner," a particular use in English of this word, but the sense evolution is "somewhat obscure" [OED]. The standard weights and measures were set by royal ordinance and were known as the king's standard, so perhaps metaphoric, the royal standard coming to stand for royal authority in matters like setting weights and measures. Hence the meaning "authoritative or recognized exemplar of quality or correctness" (late 15c.). Meaning "rule, principal or means of judgment" is from 1560s. That of "definite level of attainment" is attested from 1711 (as in standard of living, 1903).
standardization (n.) Look up standardization at
1888, originally in pharmacology publications, noun of action from standardize.
standardize (v.) Look up standardize at
1857, a hybrid from standard (adj.) + -ize. Related: Standardized; standardizing. Earlier verb was simply standard (1690s).
standing (n.) Look up standing at
late 14c., verbal noun from stand (v.). In the sense of "rank, status," it is first recorded 1570s. Sense of "state of having existed for some time" is 1650s. Legal sense is first recorded 1924. Sports sense is from 1881. To be in good standing is from 1789. Standing room is from 1788.
A young gentleman attempting to get into Drury-lane play-house, found there was such a croud of people that there was no room. Just without the door, a damsel of the town accosted him with 'can't you get in, sir?' to which he replied in the negative. 'If you'll go along with me, resumed she you may get in very easily, for I can furnish you with very good standing room.' ["The Banquet of Wit, or A Feast for the Polite World," London, 1790]
standing (adj.) Look up standing at
late 14c., "at rest, motionless," also "permanent, not transient," present participle adjective from stand (v.). Meaning "having an erect position, upright" is from 1570s; that of "done while standing" is from 1630s. The sense in standing army (c. 1600) is "permanent." Standing ovation is from 1902.
standoffish (adj.) Look up standoffish at
1826, from verbal phrase stand off "hold aloof" (c. 1600); see stand (v.) + off (adv.). Related: Standoffishly; standoffishness.
standpoint (n.) Look up standpoint at
1829, from stand (v.) + point (n.). A loan-translation of German Standpunkt. Century Dictionary calls it "a word objected to by purists."
standstill (n.) Look up standstill at
"state of cessation of movement," 1702, from stand (v.) + still (adv.). Earlier the notion would have been expressed simply by stand.
Stanford-Binet Look up Stanford-Binet at
intelligence test, first published 1916 as a revision and extension of the Binet-Simon intelligence tests, from Stanford University (California, U.S.) + the name of French psychologist Alfred Binet (1857-1911), who devised the attempt at a scientific measurement of intelligence.
stanine (n.) Look up stanine at
"nine-point scale for test scores," introduced by the U.S. Air Force in 1942, from sta(ndard) + nine.
Stanislavsky (adj.) Look up Stanislavsky at
in reference to a method of acting, 1924, from Russian actor and director Konstantin Stanislavsky (1863-1938).
stank Look up stank at
Old English stanc, past tense of stink (v.).
stannate (n.) Look up stannate at
1797, from Late Latin stannum "tin" (see stannic) + -ate (3).
stannic (adj.) Look up stannic at
"containing tin," 1790, from Modern Latin stannum, from Late Latin stannum "tin" (earlier "alloy of silver and lead"), a scribal alteration of Latin stagnum, probably from a Celtic source (compare Irish stan "tin," Cornish and Breton sten, Welsh ystaen). The Latin word is the source of Italian stagno, French étain, Spanish estaño "tin."
stannous (adj.) Look up stannous at
1829, from Late Latin stannum "tin" (see stannic) + -ous.
stanza (n.) Look up stanza at
"group of rhymed verse lines," 1580s, from Italian stanza "verse of a poem," originally "standing, stopping place," from Vulgar Latin *stantia "a stanza of verse," so called from the stop at the end of it, from Latin stantem (nominative stans), present participle of stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm." Related: Stanzaic.
stapes (n.) Look up stapes at
"stirrup-shaped bone in the middle ear," 1660s, from Modern Latin (1560s), special use of Medieval Latin stapes "stirrup," probably an alteration of Late Latin stapia, related to stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm" + pedem, accusative of pes "foot" (from PIE root *ped- "foot"). This was an invented Medieval Latin word for "stirrup," for which there was no classical Latin word, as the ancients did not use stirrups.
staph Look up staph at
colloquial short form of staphylococcus, attested from 1933.
staphylococcus (n.) Look up staphylococcus at
(plural staphylococci), 1887, Modern Latin, the genus name, coined (on model of streptococcus) in 1882 by Scottish surgeon and bacteriologist Alexander Ogston (1844-1929). The first element is from Greek staphyle "bunch of grapes," which possibly is from PIE *stabh-, variant of *stebh- "post, stem; to support" (see staff (n.)). The second element is Modern Latin coccus "spherical bacterium," from Greek kokkos "berry, grain" (see cocco-). So called because the bacteria usually bunch together in irregular masses.
staple (n.1) Look up staple at
"bent piece of metal with pointed ends," late 13c., from Old English stapol "post, pillar, trunk of a tree, steps to a house," from Proto-Germanic *stapulaz "pillar" (source also of Old Saxon stapal "candle, small tub," Old Frisian stapul "stem of a tooth," Dutch stapel "a prop, foot-rest, seat," Middle Low German stapel "block for executions," German Stapel "stake, beam"), from *stap-, from PIE stebh- (see staff (n.)).

A general Germanic word that apparently evolved a specialized meaning in English, though OED finds the connection unclear and suggests the later sense in English might not be the same word. Meaning "piece of thin wire driven through papers to hold them together" is attested from 1895.
staple (n.2) Look up staple at
"principal article grown or made in a country or district," early 15c., "official market for some class of merchandise," from Anglo-French estaple (14c.), Old French estaple "counter, stall; regulated market, depot," from a Germanic source akin to Middle Low German stapol, Middle Dutch stapel "market," literally "pillar, foundation," from the same source as staple (n.1), the notion perhaps being of market stalls behind pillars of an arcade, or else of a raised platform where the king's deputies administered judgment.

The sense of "principle article grown or made in a place" is 1610s, short for staple ware "wares and goods from a market" (early 15c.). Meaning "principle element or ingredient in anything" is from 1826. Meaning "fiber of any material used for spinning" is late 15c., of uncertain origin, and perhaps an unrelated word.
staple (v.) Look up staple at
late 14c., "to fix with a (large) staple," from staple (n.1). In the wire paper fastener sense, by 1898. Related: Stapled; stapling.
stapler (n.) Look up stapler at
mechanical device for driving staples, by 1949; agent noun from staple (v.). Long before, it meant "merchant of the staple, monopolist."
star (v.) Look up star at
1590s, "to affix a star or asterisk to," from star (n.). From 1718 as "to set with stars." Meaning "perform the lead part" (of actors, singers, etc.) is from 1824. Sporting sense is from 1916. Related: Starred; starring.
star (n.) Look up star at
Old English steorra "star," from Proto-Germanic *sterzon (source also of Old Saxon sterro, Old Frisian stera, Dutch ster, Old High German sterro, German Stern, Old Norse stjarna, Swedish stjerna, Danish stierne, Gothic stairno). This is from PIE root *ster- (2) "star."

Astrological sense of "influence of planets and zodiac on human affairs" is recorded from mid-13c., hence "person's fate as figured in the stars" (c. 1600); star-crossed "ill-fated" is from "Romeo and Juliet" (1592). Meaning "lead performer" is from 1824; star turn is from 1898. Stars as a ranking of quality for hotels, restaurants, etc. are attested from 1886, originally in Baedecker guides. Sticker stars as rewards for good students are recorded from 1970s. Brass star as a police badge is recorded from 1859 (New York City). Star-cluster is from 1870. To see stars when one is hit hard on the head is from 1839.
Star Chamber (n.) Look up Star Chamber at
late 14c., apartment in the royal palace at Westminster in which members of the king's council sat to exercise jurisdiction 14-15c., it evolved 15c. into a court of criminal jurisdiction, infamous under James I and Charles I for arbitrary and oppressive proceedings. Abolished 1641. Supposedly so called because gilt stars had been painted on the ceiling. Later there was a star on the door.
Star Wars (n.) Look up Star Wars at
name of a popular science fiction film released in 1977; also the informal name for a space-based missile defense system proposed in 1983 by U.S. president Ronald Reagan.
star-fruit (n.) Look up star-fruit at
Damasonium stellatum, 1857, from star (n.) + fruit (n.). So called for its shape.
star-gazer (n.) Look up star-gazer at
1550s, from star (n.) + agent noun from gaze (v.). Related: Star-gazing (n., 1570s); star-gaze (v., 1620s).
star-lit (adj.) Look up star-lit at
1813, from star (n.) + lit (adj.).
star-shine (n.) Look up star-shine at
1580s, from star (n.) + shine (n.).
star-spangled (adj.) Look up star-spangled at
1590s, from star (n.) + spangle (v.); Star-Spangled Banner "United States flag" is 1814, from Francis Scott Key's poem (printed in the "Baltimore Patriot" Sept. 20), in reference to the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore overnight Sept. 13-14.
The Stars and Stripes developed from the striped flag of Boston's Sons of Liberty, and the blue and white star-spangled standards of George Washington's army. It involved the advice of a Quaker seamstress, the prompting of an American Indian, the timely intervention by Pennsylvania politicians, the inspiration of Francis Hopkinson, and a resolution of the Continental Congress.

These Americans were part of a process of mixed enterprise that combined public effort and private initiative in a way that was typical of the new republic. An American Indian was not reluctant to instruct the rulers of the Colonies on what should be done, and they were quick to respond to his suggestion. A Philadelphia seamstress did not hesitate to criticize the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, and he was open to her advice. The Continental Congress accepted these contributions in the spirit of the open society that America was becoming. [David Hackett Fischer, "Liberty and Freedom"]
starboard (n.) Look up starboard at
Old English steorbord, literally "steer-board, side on which a vessel was steered," from steor "rudder, steering paddle," from Proto-Germanic *steuro "a steering" (compare German Steuer), from PIE *steu-, secondary form of root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm," + bord "ship's side" (see board (n.2)). Similar formation in Old Norse stjornborði, Low German stürbord, Dutch stuurboord, German Steuerbord.

Early Germanic peoples' boats were propelled and steered by a paddle on the right side. The opposite side of the ship sometimes in Germanic was the "back-board" (Old English bæcbord). French tribord (Old French estribord), Italian stribordo "starboard" are Germanic loan-words.
starch (n.) Look up starch at
"pasty substance used to stiffen cloth," mid-15c., back-formation from starch (v.). Figurative sense of "stiffness of manner" is recorded from 1705.
starch (v.) Look up starch at
late 14c., from Old English *stercan (Mercian), *stiercan (West Saxon) "make rigid," found in stercedferhð "fixed, hard, resolute" (related to stearc "stiff"), from Proto-Germanic *starkjan "to make hard" (source also of German Stärke "strength, starch," Swedish stärka "to starch"), from PIE root *ster- (1) "stiff." Related: Starched; starching.
starchy (adj.) Look up starchy at
1795, from starch (n.) + -y (2). Related: Starchily; starchiness.
stardom (n.) Look up stardom at
1860 in reference to celebrity, from star (n.) + -dom. From 1856 in reference to the celestial sort.
stardust (n.) Look up stardust at
also star-dust, 1836 in reference to irresolvable nebulas among star-fields in telescopic views; 1868 as "meteoric dust," from star (n.) + dust (n.).
stare (n.2) Look up stare at
"starling," from Old English (see starling).
stare (n.1) Look up stare at
late 14c., "power of sight," from stare (v.). From c. 1700 as "a fixed gaze."
stare (v.) Look up stare at
Old English starian "to stare, gaze, look fixedly at," from Proto-Germanic *staren "be rigid" (source also of Old Norse stara, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch staren, Old High German staren, German starren "to stare at;" German starren "to stiffen," starr "stiff;" Old Norse storr "proud;" Old High German storren "to stand out, project;" Gothic andstaurran "to be obstinate"), from PIE root *ster- (1) "stiff."

Not originally implying rudeness. To stare (someone) down is from 1848. Related: Stared; staring.
stare decisis (n.) Look up stare decisis at
the legal doctrine of being bound by precedents, Latin, literally "to stand by things decided;" from stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm." Second element from decidere "to decide, determine," literally "to cut off," from de- "off" (see de-) + caedere "to cut" (see -cide).
starfish (n.) Look up starfish at
also star-fish, 1530s, from star (n.) + fish (n.).
stark (adj.) Look up stark at
Old English stearc "stiff, strong, rigid, obstinate; stern, severe, hard; harsh, rough, violent," from Proto-Germanic *starkaz (source also of Old Norse sterkr, Danish, Old Frisian sterk, Middle Dutch starc, Old High German starah, German stark, Gothic *starks), from PIE root *ster- (1) "stiff." From the same root as stern (adj.).

Meaning "utter, sheer, complete" first recorded c. 1400, perhaps from influence of common phrase stark dead (late 14c.), with stark mistaken as an intensive adjective. Sense of "bare, barren" is from 1833. As an adverb from c. 1200. Related: Starkly; starkness. Stark-raving (adj.) is from 1640s; earlier stark-staring 1530s.