stay [stay stays stayed staying] verb, noun BrE [steɪ]
NAmE [steɪ]
1. intransitive to continue to be in a particular place for a period of time without moving away
to stay in bed
‘Do you want a drink?’ ‘No, thanks, I can't stay.’
Stay there and don't move!
We ended up staying for lunch.
She stayed at home (= did not go out to work) while the children were young.
I'm staying late at the office tonight.
My hat won't stay on!
Can you stay behind after the others have gone and help me clear up?
I can stay a few minutes longer.
We stayed to see what would happen.
~ doing sth They stayed talking until well into the night.  In spoken English stay can be used with and plus another verb, instead of with to and the infinitive, to show purpose or to tell somebody what to do
I'll stay and help you.
Can you stay and keep an eye on the baby?
2. intransitive to continue to be in a particular state or situation
Syn: remain
+ adj. He never stays angry for long.
I can't stay awake any longer.
The store stays open until late on Thursdays.
Stay tuned (= used to ask people to continue listening to or watching a particular programme on the radio or television).
+ adv./prep. I don't know why they stay together (= remain married or in a relationship).
Inflation stayed below 4% last month.
She did not want to stay in nursing all her life.
The TV stays on all day in their house.
+ noun We promised to stay friends for ever.
3. intransitive to live in a place temporarily as a guest or visitor
We found out we were staying in the same hotel.
My sister's coming to stay next week.
He's staying with friends this weekend.
I stayed three nights at my cousin's house.  In Indian, Scottish and South African English stay can mean ‘to live in a place permanently’
Where do you stay (= where do you live).
Rem: or
more at keep/stay/steer clear at clear adv., hang/stay loose at loose adj.
Verb forms:
Word Origin:
n. sense 1 and v. late Middle English Anglo-Norman French estai- Old French ester Latin stare ‘to stand’
n. sense 2 Old English stæg Germanic Dutch stag ‘be firm’
stay verb
1. I
Stay there and don't move!
formal remain|informal hang around • • stick around • • stay put|BrE, informal stop|especially written linger|sometimes disapproving loiter
Opp: go
stay/remain/hang around/stick around/stop/linger for a few minutes/weeks/years, etc.
stay/remain/hang around/stick around/stop/linger here
stay/remain/stop at home/indoors/behind
2. I
I can't stay awake any longer.
keep|formal remain|especially written continue • • linger • • live
stay/keep/remain awake/calm/cheerful/cool/dry/fine/healthy/quiet/silent
stay/remain alert/alive/asleep/loyal/safe/the same/a secret/shut/sober/upright
stay/keep close/still/warm
3. I
She's staying with her sister.
visit • • stop over
stay/visit/stop over for two nights, a week, etc.
stay/stop over in/at a place
come/go to stay/visit
Example Bank:
‘Stay with me!’ he pleaded.
Alex stayed behind when the others had gone.
At the moment, it's all fine. Let's hope it stays that way!
Email is a great way to stay in touch with friends.
He insists that he will not quit but will stay the course.
He needs a place to stay.
He never stays in one place for too long.
I had no more reason to stay in California.
I just couldn't stay away.
I try to stay on top of musical trends.
I'd love to stay and chat but I must be going.
I'm going to stay until tomorrow.
She failed her exam, and had to stay on at school for another year.
She stayed the night at Kathryn's.
The tax cuts will stay in place for two more years.
We can't stay here indefinitely.
Won't you let me stay?
financial incentives for women to stay at home with their children
the battle to stay on top
‘Do you want a drink?’ ‘No thanks, I can't stay.’
Come and stay any time!
He stayed for over a week.
I can't stay awake any longer.
I don't know why they stay together.
I just want to stay in bed today.
I'll stay and help you.
I'm staying at a hotel near the beach.
Inflation stayed below 4% last month.
It stayed cloudy for most of the day.
Let's hope it stays fine for the wedding this afternoon.
Lost and so far from other human life, he faced a desperate struggle to stay alive.
She couldn't stay angry with him for long.
She managed to stay cool during the meeting.
She stayed at home while the children were young.
She wanted a drink but she had to stay sober.
She's staying with her sister.
Stay there and don't move!
Stay tuned.
They found that they were staying in the same hotel.
Where will you be staying?
to stay awake/alive/afloat/cool/healthy/dry/sober/calm/sane/constant/faithful/alert
Idioms: have come to stay here to stay stay of execution stay put stay the course stay the night stay your hand stay!
Derived: stay around stay away stay in stay on stay out stay out of something stay over stay up
1. a period of staying; a visit
I enjoyed my stay in Prague.
an overnight stay
2. a rope or wire that supports a ship's mast, a pole, etc.
see also mainstay
Word Origin:
n. sense 1 and v. late Middle English Anglo-Norman French estai- Old French ester Latin stare ‘to stand’
n. sense 2 Old English stæg Germanic Dutch stag ‘be firm’
stay noun C
I enjoyed my stay in Sydney.
visit • • tour • • stopover • • call
during sb's stay/visit/tour
make a stay/visit/call
cut short a stay/visit/tour
an overnight stay/stopover
Example Bank:
In recent years the average hospital stay for elderly patients has decreased.
It poured throughout their stay.
She has extended her stay by three days.
We did a lot of walking during our stay.

WordNet Dictionary:
1. continuing or remaining in a place or state
- they had a nice stay in Paris
- a lengthy hospital stay
- a four-month stay in bankruptcy court
2. the state of inactivity following an interruption
- the negotiations were in arrest
- held them in check
- during the halt he got some lunch
- the momentary stay enabled him to escape the blow
- he spent the entire stop in his seat
Syn: arrest, check, halt, hitch, stop, stoppage
3. a judicial order forbidding some action until an event occurs or the order is lifted
- the Supreme Court has the power to stay an injunction pending an appeal to the whole Court
4. a thin strip of metal or bone that is used to stiffen a garment (e.g. a corset)
5. (nautical) brace consisting of a heavy rope or wire cable used as a support for a mast or spar
1. stay the same; remain in a certain state
- The dress remained wet after repeated attempts to dry it
- rest assured
- stay alone
- He remained unmoved by her tears
- The bad weather continued for another week
Syn: remain, rest
Ant: change
- John will stay angry
2. stay put (in a certain place)
- We are staying in Detroit; we are not moving to Cincinnati
- Stay put in the corner here!
- Stick around and you will learn something!
Syn: stick, stick around, stay put
Ant: move
3. dwell
- You can stay with me while you are in town
- stay a bit longer--the day is still young
Syn: bide, abide
4. continue in a place, position, or situation
- After graduation, she stayed on in Cambridge as a student adviser
- Stay with me, please
- despite student protests, he remained Dean for another year
- She continued as deputy mayor for another year
Syn: stay on, continue, remain
5. remain behind
- I had to stay at home and watch the children
Ant: depart
6. stop or halt
- Please stay the bloodshed!
Syn: detain, delay
7. overcome or allay
- quell my hunger
Syn: quell, appease
8. hang on during a trial of endurance
- ride out the storm
Syn: last out, ride out, outride
10. stop a judicial process
- The judge stayed the execution order
11. fasten with stays

Webster's 1913 Dictionary:
n.1.(Naut.) A large, strong rope, employed to support a mast, by being extended from the head of one mast down to some other, or to some part of the vessel. Those which lead forward are called fore-and-aft stays; those which lead to the vessel's side are called backstays. See Illust. of Ship.
In stays
(Naut.) in the act or situation of staying, or going about from one tack to another.
Stay holes
(Naut.) openings in the edge of a staysail through which the hanks pass which join it to the stay.
Stay tackle
(Naut.) a tackle attached to a stay and used for hoisting or lowering heavy articles over the side.
To miss stays
(Naut.) to fail in the attempt to go about.
Triatic stay
(Naut.) a rope secured at the ends to the heads of the foremast and mainmast with thimbles spliced to its bight into which the stay tackles hook.
v. t.1.To stop from motion or falling; to prop; to fix firmly; to hold up; to support.
[imp. & p. p. Stayed (stād) or Staid (stād); p. pr. & vb. n. Staying.]
Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side.
Sallows and reeds . . . for vineyards useful found
To stay thy vines.
2.To support from sinking; to sustain with strength; to satisfy in part or for the time.
He has devoured a whole loaf of bread and butter, and it has not staid his stomach for a minute.
3.To bear up under; to endure; to support; to resist successfully.
She will not stay the siege of loving terms,
Nor bide the encounter of assailing eyes.
4.To hold from proceeding; to withhold; to restrain; to stop; to hold.
Him backward overthrew and down him stayed
With their rude hands and grisly grapplement.
All that may stay their minds from thinking that true which they heartily wish were false.
5.To hinder; to delay; to detain; to keep back.
Your ships are stayed at Venice.
This business staid me in London almost a week.
I was willing to stay my reader on an argument that appeared to me new.
6.To remain for the purpose of; to wait for.
7.To cause to cease; to put an end to.
Stay your strife.
For flattering planets seemed to say
This child should ills of ages stay.
8.(Engin.) To fasten or secure with stays; as, to stay a flat sheet in a steam boiler.
9.(Naut.) To tack, as a vessel, so that the other side of the vessel shall be presented to the wind.
To stay a mast
(Naut.) to incline it forward or aft, or to one side, by the stays and backstays.
v. i.1.To remain; to continue in a place; to abide fixed for a space of time; to stop; to stand still.
She would command the hasty sun to stay.
Stay, I command you; stay and hear me first.
I stay a little longer, as one stays
To cover up the embers that still burn.
2.To continue in a state.
The flames augment, and stay
At their full height, then languish to decay.
3.To wait; to attend; to forbear to act.
I 'll tell thee all my whole device
When I am in my coach, which stays for us.
The father can not stay any longer for the fortune.
4.To dwell; to tarry; to linger.
I must stay a little on one action.
5.To rest; to depend; to rely; to stand; to insist.
I stay here on my bond.
Ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon.
6.To come to an end; to cease; as, that day the storm stayed.
Here my commission stays.
7.To hold out in a race or other contest; as, a horse stays well.
8.(Naut.) To change tack, as a ship.
n.1.That which serves as a prop; a support.
Trees serve as so many stays for their vines.
Lord Liverpool is the single stay of this ministry.
2.A corset stiffened with whalebone or other material, worn by women, and rarely by men.
How the strait stays the slender waist constrain.
3.Continuance in a place; abode for a space of time; sojourn; as, you make a short stay in this city.
Make haste, and leave thy business and thy care;
No mortal interest can be worth thy stay.
Embrace the hero and his stay implore.
4.Cessation of motion or progression; stand; stop.
Made of sphere metal, never to decay
Until his revolution was at stay.
Affairs of state seemed rather to stand at a stay.
5.Hindrance; let; check.
They were able to read good authors without any stay, if the book were not false.
6.Restraint of passion; moderation; caution; steadiness; sobriety.
The wisdom, stay, and moderation of the king.
With prudent stay he long deferred
The rough contention.
7.(Engin.) Strictly, a part in tension to hold the parts together, or stiffen them.
Stay bolt
(Mech.) a bolt or short rod, connecting opposite plates, so as to prevent them from being bulged out when acted upon by a pressure which tends to force them apart, as in the leg of a steam boiler.
Stay busk
a stiff piece of wood, steel, or whalebone, for the front support of a woman's stays. Cf. Busk.
Stay rod
a rod which acts as a stay, particularly in a steam boiler.

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