see also: Stead
Pronunciation Noun

stead (plural steads)

  1. (obsolete) A place, or spot, in general. [10th-16th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faery Queene, II:
      For he ne wonneth in one certaine stead, / But restlesse walketh all the world around […].
  2. (obsolete) A place where a person normally rests; a seat. [10th-18thc.]
    • 1633, P. Fletcher, Purple Island:
      There now the hart, fearlesse of greyhound, feeds, / And loving pelican in safety breeds; / There shrieking satyres fill the people's emptie steads.
  3. (obsolete) An inhabited place; a settlement, city, town etc. [13th-16thc.]
  4. (obsolete) An estate, a property with its grounds; a farm. [14th-19thc.]
    • 1889, H. Rider Haggard, Allan's Wife:
      But of course I could not do this by myself, so I took a Hottentot—a very clever man when he was not drunk—who lived on the stead, into my confidence.
  5. (obsolete) The frame on which a bed is laid; a bedstead. [15th-19thc.]
    • The genial bed / Sallow the feet, the borders, and the stead.
  6. (in phrases, now literary) The position or function (of someone or something), as taken on by a successor. [from 15thc.]
    • 1818, Jane Austen, Persuasion:
      She was so wretched and so vehement, complained so much of injustice in being expected to go away instead of Anne; Anne, who was nothing to Louisa, while she was her sister, and had the best right to stay in Henrietta's stead!
    • 1961, Muriel Saint Clare Byrne, Elizabethan Life in Town and Country, page 285:
      His nurse had told him all about changelings, and how the little people would always try to steal a beautiful human child out of its cradle and put in its stead one of their own ailing, puking brats […]
    • 2011, "Kin selection", The Economist, 31 March:
      Had Daniel Ortega not got himself illegally on to this year’s ballot to seek a third term, his wife might have run in his stead.
  7. (figurative) An emotional or circumstantial "place" having specified advantages, qualities etc. (now only in phrases). [from 15thc.]
    • 2010, Dan van der Vat, The Guardian, 19 September:
      Though small and delicate-looking, she gave an impression of intense earnestness and latent toughness, qualities that stood her in good stead when she dared to challenge the most intrusive communist society in eastern Europe.
Translations Translations
  • German: Stadt
  • Russian: фе́рма

stead (steads, present participle steading; past and past participle steaded)

  1. To help, support, benefit or assist; to be helpful or noteful.
    • circa 1596-97 William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act I scene iii:
      May you stead me? will you pleasure me? shall I know your answer?
    • circa 1603 William Shakespeare, Othello, Act I scene iii:
      I could never better stead thee than now. […]
    • circa 1610-11 William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act I scene ii:
      Some food we had and some fresh water that / A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo, / Out of his charity,—who being then appointed / Master of this design,—did give us, with / Rich garments, linens, stuffs, and necessaries, / Which since have steaded much: […]
  2. To fill stead or place of.
  • Russian: помога́ть

stead (plural steads)

  1. (Singapore, colloquial) One's partner in a romantic relationship.

Proper noun
  1. Surname

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