stethoscope (n.) Look up stethoscope at
instrument for examining the chest, 1820, from French stéthoscope, coined 1819 by its inventor, French physician René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laënnec (1781-1826) from comb. form of Greek stethos "chest, breast" + -scope. Greek stethos is perhaps related to sternon (see sternum); it meant "front of the chest," and was only rarely used of a woman's breasts, but in Modern Greek it became the preferred polite term. Related: Stethoscopic; stethoscopy.
Stetson Look up Stetson at
1902, trademark name, from John B. Stetson (1830-1906), U.S. hat manufacturer, who started his company in Philadelphia in 1865.
stevedore (n.) Look up stevedore at
1828, earlier stowadore (1788), from Spanish estibador "one who loads cargo, wool-packer," agent noun from estibar "to stow cargo," from Latin stipare "pack down, press" (see stiff (adj.)).
Steven Look up Steven at
masc. proper name, anglicized form of Stephen (q.v.). A top 20 name for boys born in the U.S. between 1949 and 1976; the -ph- form was the more popular in U.S. until 1960s.
stew (v.) Look up stew at
late 14c., transitive "to bathe (a person or a body part) in a steam bath," from Old French estuver "have a hot bath, plunge into a bath; stew" (Modern French étuver), of uncertain origin. Common Romanic (cognates: Spanish estufar, Italian stufare), possibly from Vulgar Latin *extufare "evaporate," from ex- "out" + *tufus "vapor, steam," from Greek typhos "smoke." Compare Old English stuf-bæþ "hot-air bath;" see stove.

Intransitive use from 1590s. Meaning "to boil slowly, to cook meat by simmering it in liquid" is attested from early 15c. The meaning "to be left to the consequences of one's actions" is from 1650s, especially in figurative expression to stew in one's own juices. Related: Stewed; stewing. Slang stewed "drunk" first attested 1737.
stew (n.) Look up stew at
c. 1300, "vessel for cooking," from stew (v.). Later "heated room," especially for bathing (late 14c.). The meaning "stewed meat with vegetables" is first recorded 1756. The obsolete slang meaning "brothel" (mid-14c., usually plural, stews) is from a parallel sense of "public bath house" (mid-14c.), carried over from Old French estuve "bath, bath house; bawdy house," reflecting the reputation of medieval bath houses.
steward (n.) Look up steward at
Old English stiward, stigweard "house guardian, housekeeper," from stig "hall, pen for cattle, part of a house" (see sty (n.1)) + weard "guard" (see ward (n.)). Used after the Conquest as the equivalent of Old French seneschal (q.v.). Meaning "overseer of workmen" is attested from c. 1300. The sense of "officer on a ship in charge of provisions and meals" is first recorded mid-15c.; extended to trains 1906. This was the title of a class of high officers of the state in early England and Scotland, hence meaning "one who manages affairs of an estate on behalf of his employer" (late 14c.). Meaning "person who supervises arrangements" at a meeting, dinner, etc., is from 1703.

The Scottish form (with terminal -t attested from late 14c.) is reflected in Stewart, name of the royal house descended from Walter (the) Steward, who married (1315) Marjorie de Bruce, daughter of King Robert. Stuart is a French spelling, attested from 1429 and adopted by Mary, Queen of Scots.
stewardess (n.) Look up stewardess at
1630s, "female steward," from steward (n.) + -ess. Meaning "female attendant on passenger aircraft" is from 1931; used of ships (where she waited on the female passengers) from 1837.
stewardship (n.) Look up stewardship at
"position or responsibilities of a steward," mid-15c., from steward (n.) + -ship. Specific ecclesiastical sense of "responsible use of resources in the service of God" is from 1899.
stichic (adj.) Look up stichic at
"made up of lines," 1844 (stichical is from 1787), from Greek stikhikos "of lines, of verses," from stikhos "row, line, rank, verse," related to steikhein "to go, to march in order," from PIE root *steigh- "go, rise, stride, step, walk" (see stair).
stichomythia (n.) Look up stichomythia at
"dialogue in alternate lines," Latinized from Greek stikhomythia, from stikhos (see stichic) + mythos "speech, talk" (see myth) + abstract noun ending -ia. Related: Stichomythic.
stick (n.) Look up stick at
Old English sticca "rod, twig, peg; spoon," from Proto-Germanic *stikkon- "pierce, prick" (cognates: Old Norse stik, Middle Dutch stecke, stec, Old High German stehho, German Stecken "stick, staff"), from PIE *steig- "to stick; pointed" (see stick (v.)). Meaning "staff used in a game" is from 1670s (originally billiards); meaning "manual gearshift lever" first recorded 1914. Alliterative connection of sticks and stones is recorded from mid-15c.; originally "every part of a building." Stick-bug is from 1870, American English; stick-figure is from 1949.
stick (v.) Look up stick at
Old English stician "to pierce, stab, transfix, goad," also "to remain embedded, stay fixed, be fastened," from Proto-Germanic *stik- "pierce, prick, be sharp" (cognates: Old Saxon stekan, Old Frisian steka, Dutch stecken, Old High German stehhan, German stechen "to stab, prick"), from PIE *steig- "to stick; pointed" (cognates: Latin instigare "to goad," instinguere "to incite, impel;" Greek stizein "to prick, puncture," stigma "mark made by a pointed instrument;" Old Persian tigra- "sharp, pointed;" Avestan tighri- "arrow;" Lithuanian stingu "to remain in place;" Russian stegati "to quilt").

Figurative sense of "to remain permanently in mind" is attested from c. 1300. Transitive sense of "to fasten (something) in place" is attested from late 13c. Stick out "project" is recorded from 1560s. Slang stick around "remain" is from 1912; stick it as a rude item of advice is first recorded 1922. Related: Stuck; sticking. Sticking point, beyond which one refuses to go, is from 1956; sticking-place, where any thing put will stay is from 1570s. Modern use generally is an echo of Shakespeare.
stick-in-the-mud (n.) Look up stick-in-the-mud at
1852, from verbal phrase, stick (v.) on notion of "one who sticks in the mud," hence "one who is content to remain in an abject condition." The phrase appears in 1730, in city of London court records, as the alias of an accused named John Baker, who with two other men received a death sentence at the Old Bailey in December 1733 for "breaking open the House of Mr. Thomas Rayner, a Silversmith, and stealing thence Plate to a great Value."
stick-up (n.) Look up stick-up at
also stickup, 1857, "a stand-up collar," from verbal phrase (attested from early 15c.), from stick (v.) + up (adv.). The verbal phrase in the sense of "rob someone at gunpoint" is from 1846, hence the noun in this sense (1887). Stick up for "defend" is attested from 1823.
stickball (n.) Look up stickball at
also stick-ball, 1824, from stick (n.) + ball (n.1).
sticker (n.) Look up sticker at
1580s, "one who sticks," agent noun from stick (v.). Meaning "gummed adhesive label" is from 1871.
stickleback (n.) Look up stickleback at
c. 1400, from Old English sticel "prick, sting, goad, thorn" (from Proto-Germanic *stik- "pierce, prick, be sharp;" see stick (v.)) + back (n.).
stickler (n.) Look up stickler at
1530s, "moderator, umpire," agent noun from stickle "mediate" (1520s), probably a frequentative of Middle English stighten "to arrange, place," from Old English stihtan "to rule, direct, arrange, order," which is cognate with Middle Dutch stichten, German stiften "to found, establish," probably from Proto-Germanic *stihtan "to place on a step or base," from PIE root *steigh- "to stride, step, rise" (see stair). Meaning "person who contends or insists stubbornly" is first recorded 1640s.
sticks (n.) Look up sticks at
"rural place," 1905, from sticks in slang sense of "trees" (compare backwoods). See stick (n.).
sticktoitiveness (n.) Look up sticktoitiveness at
1871, from phrase stick to it "persevere."
stickum (n.) Look up stickum at
"glue, paste," 1909, from stick (v.).
sticky (adj.) Look up sticky at
1727, "adhesive, inclined to stick," from stick (v.) + -y (2). An Old English word for this was clibbor. First recorded 1864 in the sense of "sentimental;" of situations, 1915 with the meaning "difficult." Of weather, "hot and humid," from 1895. Sticky wicket is 1952, from British slang, in reference to cricket. Related: Stickily; stickiness.
stiff (adj.) Look up stiff at
Old English stif "rigid, inflexible," from Proto-Germanic *stifaz "inflexible" (cognates: Dutch stijf, Old High German stif, German steif "stiff;" Old Norse stifla "choke"), from PIE *stipos-, from root *steip- "press together, pack, cram" (cognates: Sanskrit styayate "coagulates," stima "slow;" Greek stia, stion "small stone," steibo "press together;" Latin stipare "pack down, press," stipes "post, tree trunk;" Lithuanian stipti "stiffen," stiprus "strong;" Old Church Slavonic stena "wall"). Of battles and competitions, from mid-13c.; of liquor, from 1813. To keep a stiff upper lip is attested from 1815. Related: Stiffly.
stiff (v.) Look up stiff at
late 14c., "to make stiff," from stiff (adj.). Meaning "fail to tip" is from 1939, originally among restaurant and hotel workers, probably from stiff (n.), perhaps in slang sense of "corpse" (because dead men pay no tips), or from the "contemptible person" sense. Extended by 1950 to "cheat."
stiff (n.) Look up stiff at
"corpse, dead body," 1859, slang, from stiff (adj.) which had been associated with notion of rigor mortis since c. 1200. Meaning "working man" first recorded 1930, from earlier genitive sense of "contemptible person," but sometimes merely "man, fellow" (1882). Slang meaning "something or someone bound to lose" is 1890 (originally of racehorses), from notion of "corpse."
stiff-necked (adj.) Look up stiff-necked at
"stubborn, obstinate," 1520s (in Tindale's rendition of Acts vii:51), from stiff (adj.) + neck (n.); translating Latin dura cervice in Vulgate, from Greek sklero trachelos, a literal translation from Hebrew qesheh 'oref.
stiffen (v.) Look up stiffen at
early 15c., "make steadfast," from stiff (adj.) + -en (1). Intransitive sense from 1690s. Earlier verb was simply stiff "gain strength, become strong" (late 14c.). Related: Stiffened; stiffener; stiffening. Compare German steifen "to stiffen."
stiffness (n.) Look up stiffness at
late 14c., from stiff (adj.) + -ness. Meaning "uneasy formality" is from 1630s.
stifle (v.) Look up stifle at
late 14c., "to choke, suffocate, drown," of uncertain origin, possibly an alteration of Old French estouffer "to stifle, smother" (Modern French étouffer), itself of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Germanic source (compare Old High German stopfon "to plug up, stuff"). Metaphoric sense is from 1570s. Related: Stifled; stifling.
stigma (n.) Look up stigma at
1590s (earlier stigme, c. 1400), "mark made on skin by burning with a hot iron," from Latin stigma (plural stigmata), from Greek stigma (genitive stigmatos) "mark of a pointed instrument, puncture, tattoo-mark, brand," from root of stizein "to mark, tattoo," from PIE root *steig- "to stick; pointed" (see stick (v.)).

Figurative meaning "a mark of disgrace" in English is from 1610s. Stigmas "marks resembling the wounds on the body of Christ, appearing supernaturally on the bodies of the devout" is from 1630s; earlier stigmate (late 14c.), from Latin stigmata.
stigmatic (adj.) Look up stigmatic at
c. 1600, from Medieval Latin stigmaticus, from stigmat-, stem of Greek stigma (see stigma), + -ic. Related: Stigmatical (1580s).
stigmatism (n.) Look up stigmatism at
1660s, "a branding," from Greek stigmatizein, from stigmat-, stem of stigma (see stigma). Meaning "condition of being affected with stigmata" is from 1897.
stigmatization (n.) Look up stigmatization at
1822, noun of action from stigmatize.
stigmatize (v.) Look up stigmatize at
1580s, "to brand or tattoo," from Medieval Latin stigmatizare, from Greek stigmatizein, from stigmat-, stem of stigma (see stigma). Meaning "to blemish" is from 1610s (figurative), 1630s (literal). Related: Stigmatized; stigmatizing.
stile (n.) Look up stile at
Old English stigel, stile "device for climbing, ladder," related to stigen "to climb," from Proto-Germanic *stig- "to climb" (see stair). An arrangement to allow persons to pass but not sheep and cattle.
stiletto (n.) Look up stiletto at
1610s, "short dagger with a thick blade," from Italian stiletto, diminutive of stilo "dagger," from Latin stilus "pointed writing instrument" (see style (n.)). Stiletto heel first attested 1953.
still (adj.) Look up still at
Old English stille "motionless, stable, fixed, stationary," from Proto-Germanic *stilli- (cognates: Old Frisian, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch stille, Dutch stil, Old High German stilli, German still), from PIE root *stel- "to put, stand," with derivatives referring to a standing object or place (see stall (n.1)). Meaning "quiet, calm, gentle, silent" emerged in later Old English. Euphemistic for "dead" in stillborn, etc. Still small voice is from KJV:
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. [1 Kings 19:11-13]
Used as a conjunction from 1722.
still (n.1) Look up still at
"distilling apparatus," 1530s, from Middle English stillen "to distill" (c. 1300), a variant of distillen (see distill).
still (v.) Look up still at
Old English stillan "to be still, have rest; to quiet, calm, appease; to stop, restrain," from stille "at rest" (see still (adj.)). Cognate with Old Saxon stillian, Old Norse stilla, Dutch, Old High German, German stillen. Related: Stilled; stilling.
still (n.2) Look up still at
c. 1200, "a calm," from still (adj.). Sense of "quietness, the silent part" is from c. 1600 (in still of the night). Meaning "a photograph" (as distinguished from a motion picture) is attested from 1916.
still (adv.) Look up still at
"even now, even then, yet" (as in still standing there), 1530s, from still (adj.) in the sense "without change or cessation, continual" (c. 1300); the sense of "even, yet" (as in still more) is from 1730.
still life (n.) Look up still life at
1690s, translating Dutch stilleven (17c); see still (adj.) + life (n.).
stillbirth (n.) Look up stillbirth at
also still-birth, 1764, from still (adj.) + birth (n.).
stillborn (adj.) Look up stillborn at
1590s, from still (adj.) + born. As a noun from 1913; still (n.) in this sense is attested from 1863 in undertaker's slang."
stillness (n.) Look up stillness at
Old English stilnes "quiet, silence, peace, release, relaxation;" see still (adj.) + -ness.
stilly (adv.) Look up stilly at
Old English stillice; see still (adj.) + -ly (2).
stilt (n.) Look up stilt at
early 14c., "a crutch," a common Germanic word (cognates: Danish stylte, Swedish stylta, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch stelte "stilt," Old High German stelza "plow handle, crutch"), though the exact relationship of them all is unclear, from Proto-Germanic *steltijon, from PIE root *stel- "to put, stand" (see stall (n.1)). Application to "wooden poles for walking across marshy ground, etc." is from mid-15c. Meaning "one of the posts on which a building is raised from the ground" is first attested 1690s. As a type of bird with long legs, from 1831. Stilted in the figurative sense of "pompous, stuffy" is first recorded 1820.
stilted (adj.) Look up stilted at
1610s, "having stilts," from stilt (n.). That of "elevated or supported by stilts" is from 1820. Figurative sense of "pompous, stuffy, formal and stiff" is first recorded 1820.
Stilton (n.) Look up Stilton at
1736, cheese made famous by a coaching inn at Stilton on the Great North Road from London, the owner being from Leicestershire, where the cheese was made. Since 1969 restricted to cheese made in Leicester, Derby, and Nottingham counties by members of the Stilton Cheese Makers Association. The place name is in Domesday Book as Stichiltone and probably means literally farmstead or village at a stile or steep ascent.