stay

Definitions

General English

Commerce

Construction

Law

  • noun the temporary stopping of an order made by a court
  • verb to stop an action temporarily

Medical

  • noun the time which someone spends in a place
  • verb to stop in a place for some time

Origin & History of “stay”

English has three distinct words stay, two of them ultimately from the same source. Stay ‘stop’ (15th c.) comes from estai-, the present stem of Old French ester ‘stand, stop’. this in turn went back to Latin stāre ‘stand’ (source of English state, statue, etc). Staid (16th c.) originated as the past participle of stay. Stay ‘strong rope’ (OE) comes from a prehistoric Germanic *staga-. This was derived from a base *stagh-, *stakh- ‘be firm’, which also produced English steel and (by borrowing) Old French estayer ‘support’ (source of English stay ‘support’ (16th c.)).
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