Webster's Dictionary, 1913
; plural Staves
(... or ...; 277) or Staffs
in senses 1-9, Staffs
in senses 10, 11. [ Anglo-Saxon stæf
a staff; akin to LG. & Dutch staf
, OFries stef
, German stab
, Icelandic stafr
, Swedish staf
, Danish stav
, Goth. stabs
element, rudiment, Sanskrit sthāpay
to cause to stand, to place. See Stand
, and confer Stab
] 1. A long piece of wood; a stick; the long handle of an instrument or weapon; a pole or srick, used for many purposes; as, a surveyor's staff ; the staff of a spear or pike.
And he put the staves into the rings on the sides of the altar to bear it withal. Ex. xxxviii. 7.
With forks and staves the felon to pursue. Dryden. 2. A stick carried in the hand for support or defense by a person walking; hence, a support; that which props or upholds.
." Piers Plowman.
The boy was the very staff of my age. Shak.
He spoke of it [ beer] in "The Earnest Cry," and likewise in the "Scotch Drink," as one of the staffs of life which had been struck from the poor man's hand. Prof. Wilson. 3. A pole, stick, or wand borne as an ensign of authority; a badge of office; as, a constable's staff .
Methought this staff , mine office badge in court, Shak.
Was broke in twain.
All his officers brake their staves ; but at their return new staves were delivered unto them. Hayward. 4. A pole upon which a flag is supported and displayed. 5. The round of a ladder.
I ascend at one [ ladder] of six hundred and thirty-nine staves . Dr. J. Campbell (E. Brown's Travels). 6. A series of verses so disposed that, when it is concluded, the same order begins again; a stanza; a stave.
Cowley found out that no kind of staff is proper for an heroic poem, as being all too lyrical. Dryden. 7. (Mus.) The five lines and the spaces on which music is written; -- formerly called stave . 8. (Mech.) An arbor, as of a wheel or a pinion of a watch. 9. (Surg.) The grooved director for the gorget, or knife, used in cutting for stone in the bladder. 10.
[ From Staff
, 3, a badge of office.] (Mil.) An establishment of officers in various departments attached to an army, to a section of an army, or to the commander of an army. The general's staff consists of those officers about his person who are employed in carrying his commands into execution. See État Major . 11. Hence: A body of assistants serving to carry into effect the plans of a superintendant or manager; as, the staff of a newspaper. Jacob's staff (Surv.)
, a single straight rod or staff, pointed and iron-shod at the bottom, for penetrating the ground, and having a socket joint at the top, used, instead of a tripod, for supporting a compass.
-- Staff angle (Architecture)
, a square rod of wood standing flush with the wall on each of its sides, at the external angles of plastering, to prevent their being damaged.
-- The staff of life
"Bread is the staff of life
-- Staff tree (Botany)
, any plant of the genus Celastrus , mostly climbing shrubs of the northern hemisphere. The American species ( C. scandens ) is commonly called bittersweet . See 2d Bittersweet , 3 (b) .
-- To set
, or To put
, up, or down
, one's staff
, to take up one's residence; to lodge.
[ German staffiren
to fill or fit out, adorn, from Dutch stoffeeren
, Old French estoffer
, French étoffer
, from Old French estoffe
stuff, French étoffe
. See Stuff
] (Architecture) Plaster combined with fibrous and other materials so as to be suitable for sculpture in relief or in the round, or for forming flat plates or boards of considerable size which can be nailed to framework to make the exterior of a larger structure, forming joints which may afterward be repaired and concealed with fresh plaster.
Staffier noun An attendant bearing a staff. [ Obsolete] " Staffiers on foot." Hudibras.
Staffish adjective Stiff; harsh. [ Obsolete] Ascham.
; plural Staffmen A workman employed in silk throwing.
[ Icelandic steggr
the male of several animals; or a doubtful Anglo-Saxon stagga
. Confer Steg
.] 1. (Zoology) (a) The adult male of the red deer ( Cervus elaphus ), a large European species closely related to the American elk, or wapiti. (b) The male of certain other species of large deer. 2. A colt, or filly; also, a romping girl.
[ Prov. Eng.] 3. A castrated bull; -- called also bull stag , and bull seg . See the Note under Ox . 4. (Stock Exchange) (a) An outside irregular dealer in stocks, who is not a member of the exchange.
[ Cant] (b) One who applies for the allotment of shares in new projects, with a view to sell immediately at a premium, and not to hold the stock.
[ Cant] 5. (Zoology) The European wren.
[ Prov. Eng.] Stag beetle (Zoology)
, any one of numerous species of lamellicorn beetles belonging to Lucanus and allied genera, especially Latin cervus of Europe and Latin dama of the United States. The mandibles are large and branched, or forked, whence the name. The lava feeds on the rotten wood of dead trees. Called also horned bug , and horse beetle .
-- Stag dance
, a dance by men only. [ slang, U.S.] -- Stag hog (Zoology)
, the babiroussa.
-- Stag-horn coral (Zoology)
, any one of several species of large branching corals of the genus Madrepora , which somewhat resemble the antlers of the stag, especially Madrepora cervicornis , and M. palmata , of Florida and the West Indies.
-- Stag-horn fern (Botany)
, an Australian and West African fern ( Platycerium alcicorne ) having the large fronds branched like a stag's horns; also, any species of the same genus.
-- Stag-horn sumac (Botany)
, a common American shrub ( Rhus typhina ) having densely velvety branchlets. See Sumac .
-- Stag party
, a party consisting of men only.
[ Slang, U. S.] -- Stag tick (Zoology)
, a parasitic dipterous insect of the family Hippoboscidæ , which lives upon the stag and in usually wingless. The same species lives also upon the European grouse, but in that case has wings.
Stag intransitive verb (Com.) To act as a "stag", or irregular dealer in stocks. [ Cant]
Stag transitive verb To watch; to dog, or keep track of. [ Prov. Eng. or Slang] H. Kingsley.
Stag-evil noun (Far.) A kind of palsy affecting the jaw of a horse. Crabb.
Stag-horn coral, Stag-horn fern
etc. See under Stag .
Stag-horned adjective (Zoology) Having the mandibles large and palmate, or branched somewhat like the antlers of a stag; -- said of certain beetles.
[ Old French estage
, French étage
, (assumed) Late Latin staticum
, from Latin stare
to stand. See Stand
, and confer Static
.] 1. A floor or story of a house.
[ Obsolete] Wyclif. 2. An elevated platform on which an orator may speak, a play be performed, an exhibition be presented, or the like. 3. A floor elevated for the convenience of mechanical work, or the like; a scaffold; a staging. 4. A platform, often floating, serving as a kind of wharf. 5. The floor for scenic performances; hence, the theater; the playhouse; hence, also, the profession of representing dramatic compositions; the drama, as acted or exhibited.
Knights, squires, and steeds, must enter on the stage . Pope.
Lo! Where the stage , the poor, degraded stage , C. Sprague. 6. A place where anything is publicly exhibited; the scene of any noted action or carrer; the spot where any remarkable affair occurs.
Holds its warped mirror to a gaping age.
When we are born, we cry that we are come Shak.
To this stage of fools.
Music and ethereal mirth Miton. 7. The platform of a microscope, upon which an object is placed to be viewed. See Illust. of Microscope . 8. A place of rest on a regularly traveled road; a stage house; a station; a place appointed for a relay of horses. 9. A degree of advancement in a journey; one of several portions into which a road or course is marked off; the distance between two places of rest on a road; as, a stage of ten miles.
Wherewith the stage of air and earth did ring.
A stage . . . signifies a certain distance on a road. Jeffrey.
He traveled by gig, with his wife, his favorite horse performing the journey by easy stages . Smiles. 10. A degree of advancement in any pursuit, or of progress toward an end or result.
Such a polity is suited only to a particular stage in the progress of society. Macaulay. 11. A large vehicle running from station to station for the accomodation of the public; a stagecoach; an omnibus.
"A parcel sent you by the stage
I went in the sixpenny stage . Swift. 12. (Biol.) One of several marked phases or periods in the development and growth of many animals and plants; as, the larval stage ; pupa stage ; zœa stage . Stage box
, a box close to the stage in a theater.
-- Stage carriage
, a stagecoach.
-- Stage door
, the actor's and workmen's entrance to a theater.
-- Stage lights
, the lights by which the stage in a theater is illuminated.
-- Stage micrometer
, a graduated device applied to the stage of a microscope for measuring the size of an object.
-- Stage wagon
, a wagon which runs between two places for conveying passengers or goods.
-- Stage whisper
, a loud whisper, as by an actor in a theater, supposed, for dramatic effect, to be unheard by one or more of his fellow actors, yet audible to the audience; an aside.
Stage transitive verb To exhibit upon a stage, or as upon a stage; to display publicly. Shak.
Stage director (Theat.) One who prepares a play for production. He arranges the details of the stage settings, the business to be used, all stage effects, and instructs the actors, excepting usually the star, in the general interpretation of their parts.
Stage fright Nervousness felt before an audience.
Stage manager (Theat.) One in control of the stage during the production of a play. He directs the stage hands, property man, etc., has charge of all details behind the curtain, except the acting, and has a general oversight of the actors. Sometimes he is also the stage director .
Stage-struck adjective Fascinated by the stage; seized by a passionate desire to become an actor.
Stagecoach noun A coach that runs regularly from one stage, station, or place to another, for the conveyance of passengers.
; plural Stagecoachmen One who drives a stagecoach.
Stagehouse noun A house where a stage regularly stops for passengers or a relay of horses.
Stagely adjective Pertaining to a stage; becoming the theater; theatrical. [ Obsolete] Jer. Taylor.
Stageplay noun A dramatic or theatrical entertainment. Dryden.
Stageplayer noun An actor on the stage; one whose occupation is to represent characters on the stage; as, Garrick was a celebrated stageplayer .
1. A player. [ R.] B. Jonson. 2. One who has long acted on the stage of life; a practitioner; a person of experience, or of skill derived from long experience. "You will find most of the old stagers still stationary there." Sir W. Scott. 3. A horse used in drawing a stage. [ Colloq.]
Stagery noun Exhibition on the stage. [ Obsolete]
[ From Stag
.] (Zoology) The male red deer when four years old.
Stagger intransitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Staggered
; present participle & verbal noun Staggering
.] [ Middle English stakeren
, Icelandic stakra
to push, to stagger, from staka
to punt, push, stagger; confer OD. staggeren
to stagger. Confer Stake
] 1. To move to one side and the other, as if about to fall, in standing or walking; not to stand or walk with steadiness; to sway; to reel or totter.
Deep was the wound; he staggered with the blow. Dryden. 2. To cease to stand firm; to begin to give way; to fail.
"The enemy staggers
." Addison. 3. To begin to doubt and waver in purposes; to become less confident or determined; to hesitate.
He [ Abraham] staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief. Rom. iv. 20.
Stagger transitive verb 1. To cause to reel or totter.
That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire Shak. 2. To cause to doubt and waver; to make to hesitate; to make less steady or confident; to shock.
That staggers thus my person.
Whosoever will read the story of this war will find himself much stagered . Howell.
Grants to the house of Russell were so enormous, as not only to outrage economy, but even to stagger credibility. Burke. 3. To arrange (a series of parts) on each side of a median line alternately, as the spokes of a wheel or the rivets of a boiler seam.
Stagger noun Stomach staggers (Far.) , distention of the stomach with food or gas, resulting in indigestion, frequently in death.
1. An unsteady movement of the body in walking or standing, as if one were about to fall; a reeling motion; vertigo; -- often in the plural; as, the stagger of a drunken man. 2. plural (Far.) A disease of horses and other animals, attended by reeling, unsteady gait or sudden falling; as, parasitic staggers ; appopletic or sleepy staggers . 3. plural Bewilderment; perplexity. [ R.] Shak.
Staggerbush noun (Botany) An American shrub ( Andromeda Mariana ) having clusters of nodding white flowers. It grows in low, sandy places, and is said to poison lambs and calves. Gray.
Staggeringly adverb In a staggering manner.
Staggerwort noun (Botany) A kind of ragwort ( Senecio Jacobæa ).
Staghound noun (Zoology) A large and powerful hound formerly used in hunting the stag, the wolf, and other large animals. The breed is nearly extinct.
Staging noun A structure of posts and boards for supporting workmen, etc., as in building. 2. The business of running stagecoaches; also, the act of journeying in stagecoaches.
Stagirite noun A native of, or resident in, Stagira , in ancient Macedonia; especially, Aristotle. [ Written also Stagyrite .]
Stagnancy noun State of being stagnant.
[ Latin stagnans
, present participle of stagnare
. See Stagnate
.] 1. That stagnates; not flowing; not running in a current or steam; motionless; hence, impure or foul from want of motion; as, a stagnant lake or pond; stagnant blood in the veins. 2. Not active or brisk; dull; as, business in stagnant .
That gloomy slumber of the stagnant soul. Johnson.
For him a stagnant life was not worth living. Palfrey.
Stagnantly adverb In a stagnant manner.
(stăg"nāt) intransitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Stagnated
; present participle & verbal noun Stagnating
.] [ Latin stagnatus
, past participle of stagnare
to stagnate, make stagnant, from stagnum
a piece of standing water. See Stank
a pool, and confer Stanch
, transitive verb
] 1. To cease to flow; to be motionless; as, blood stagnates in the veins of an animal; hence, to become impure or foul by want of motion; as, air stagnates in a close room. 2. To cease to be brisk or active; to become dull or inactive; as, commerce stagnates ; business stagnates .
Ready-witted tenderness . . . never stagnates in vain lamentations while there is any room for hope. Sir W. Scott.
Stagnate adjective Stagnant. [ Obsolete] "A stagnate mass of vapors." Young.
Stagnation noun [ Confer French stagnation .]
1. The condition of being stagnant; cessation of flowing or circulation, as of a fluid; the state of being motionless; as, the stagnation of the blood; the stagnation of water or air; the stagnation of vapors. 2. The cessation of action, or of brisk action; the state of being dull; as, the stagnation of business.
Stagworm noun (Zoology) The larve of any species of botfly which is parasitic upon the stag, as Œstrus, or Hypoderma, actæon , which burrows beneath the skin, and Cephalomyia auribarbis , which lives in the nostrils.
Stagy adjective [ Written also stagey .] Having an air or manner characteristic of the stage; theatrical; artificial; as, a stagy tone or bearing; -- chiefly used depreciatively.
Stahlian adjective Pertaining to, or taught by, Stahl , a German physician and chemist of the 17th century; as, the Stahlian theory of phlogiston.
Stahlian noun A believer in, or advocate of, Stahlism.
Stahlism, Stahlianism noun The Stahlian theory, that every vital action is function or operation of the soul.
(stād), imperfect & past participle of Stay .
[ From Stay
to stop.] Sober; grave; steady; sedate; composed; regular; not wild, volatile, or fanciful.
"Sober and staid
O'erlaid with black, staid Wisdom's hue. Milton. Syn.
-- Sober; grave; steady; steadfast; composed; regular; sedate.
Staidly adverb In a staid manner, sedately.
Staidness noun The quality or state of being staid; seriousness; steadiness; sedateness; regularity; -- the opposite of wildness , or levity .
If sometimes he appears too gray, yet a secret gracefulness of youth accompanies his writings, though the staidness and sobriety of age wanting. Dryden. Syn.
-- Sobriety; gravity; steadiness; regularity; constancy; firmness; stability; sedateness.