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A structure of posts and boards for support, as for building.

STAG'NAN-CY, n. [See Stagnant.]

The state of being without motion, flow or circulation, as in a fluid.

STAG'NANT, a. [L. stagnans, from stagno, to be without a flowing motion, It. stagnare. Qu. W. tagu, to stop.]

  1. Not flowing; not running in a current or stream; as, a stagnant lake or pond; stagnant blood in the veins.
  2. Motionless; still; not agitated; as, water quiet and stagnant. – Woodward. The gloomy slumber of the stagnant soul. – Johnson.
  3. Not active; dull; not brisk; as, business is stagnant.


In a still, motionless, inactive manner.

STAG'NATE, v.i. [L. stagno, stagnum; It. stagnare.]

  1. To cease to flow; to be motionless; as, blood stagnates in the veins of an animal; air stagnates in a close room.
  2. To cease to move; not to be agitated. Water that stagnates in a pond or reservoir soon becomes foul.
  3. To cease to be brisk or active; to become dull; as, commerce stagnates; business stagnates.


  1. The cessation of flowing or circulation of a fluid; or the state of being without flow or circulation; the state of being motionless; as, the stagnation of the blood; the stagnation of water or air; the stagnation of vapors. – Addison.
  2. The cessation of action or of brisk action; the state of being dull; as, the stagnation of business.


An insect that is troublesome to deer.


An appellation given to Aristotle from the place of his birth.

STAID, pp.

  1. pret. and pp. of Stay; so written for stayed.
  2. adj. [from stay, to stop.] Sober; grave; steady; composed; regular; not wild, volatile, flighty or fanciful; as, staid wisdom. To ride out with staid guides. – Milton.


Sobriety; gravity; steadiness; regularity; the opposite of wildness. If he sometimes appears too gay, yet a secret gracefulness of youth accompanies his writings, though the staidness and sobriety of age be wanting. – Dryden.


  1. A spot; discoloration from foreign matter; as, stain on a garment or cloth.
  2. A natural spot of a color different from the ground. Swift trouts, diversified with crimson stains. – Pope.
  3. Taint of guilt; tarnish; disgrace; reproach; as, the stain of sin. Nor death itself can wholly wash their stains. – Dryden. Our opinion is, I hope, without any blemish or stain of heresy. – Hooker.
  4. Cause of reproach; shame. Hereby I will lead her that is the praise and yet the stain all womankind. – Sidney.

STAIN, v.t. [W. ystaeniaw, to spread over, to stain; ystaenu, to cover with tin; ystaen, that is spread out, or that is sprinkled, a stain, tin, L. stannum; taen, a spread, a sprinkle, a layer; taenu, to spread, expand, sprinkle, or be scattered. This coincides in elements with Gr. τεινω. The French teindre, Sp. teñir, It. tingere, Port. tingir, to stain, are from the L. tingo, Gr. τεγγω, Sax. deagan, Eng. dye; a word formed by different elements. Stain seems to be from the Welsh, and if taen is not a contracted word, it has no connection with the Fr. teindre.]

  1. To discolor by the application of foreign matter; to make foul; to spot; as, to stain the hand with dye; to stain clothes with vegetable juice; to stain paper; armor stained with blood.
  2. To dye; to tinge with a different color; as, to stain cloth.
  3. To impress with figures, in colors different from the ground; as, to stain paper for hangings.
  4. To blot; to soil; to spot with guilt or infamy; to tarnish; to bring reproach on; as, to stain the character. Of honor void, of innocence, of faith of purity, / Our wonted of ornaments now soil'd and stained. – Milton.


Discolored; spotted; dyed; blotted; tarnished.


  1. One who stains, blots or tarnishes.
  2. A dyer.


Discoloring; spotting; tarnishing; dyeing.


  1. Free from stains or spots. – Sidney.
  2. Free from the reproach of guilt; free from sin. Shak.

STAIR, n. [D. steiger; Sax. stæger; from Sax. stigan, D. and G. steigen, Goth. steigan, to step, to go; Dan. stiger, to rise, to step up; Sw. steg, a step; Ir. staighre. See Stage.]

  1. A step; a stone or a frame of boards or planks by which a person rises one step. A stair, to make the ascent easy should not exceed six or seven inches in elevation. When the riser is eight, nine or ten inches in breadth, the ascent by stairs is laborious.
  2. Stairs, in the plural, a series of steps by which persons ascend to a higher room in a building. [Stair, in this sense, is not in use.] Flight of stairs, may signify the stairs which make the whole ascent of a story; or in winding stairs, the phrase may signify the stairs from the floor to a turn, or from one turn to another.

STAIR'CASE, n. [stair and case.]

The part of a building which contains the stairs. Staircases are straight or winding. The straight are called fliers, or direct fliers. Winding stairs, called spiral or cockle, are square, circular or elliptical. To make a complete staircase, is a curious piece of architecture. – Wotton.


A repository and mart for coals. [Local.]

STAKE, n. [Sax. stac; D. staak; Sw. stake; Ir. stac; It. steccone, a stake; stecca, a stick; steccare, to fence with stakes; Sp. estaca, a stake, a stick. This coincides with stick, noun and verb, with stock, stage, &c. The primary sense is to shoot, to thrust, hence, to set, or fix.]

  1. A small piece of wood or timber, sharpened at one end and set in the ground, or prepared for setting, as a support to something. Thus stakes are used to support vines, to support fences, hedges and the like. A stake is not to be confounded with a post, which is a larger piece of timber.
  2. A piece of long rough wood. A sharpen'd stake strong Dryas found. – Dryden.
  3. A palisade, or something resembling it. – Milton.
  4. The piece of timber to which a martyr is fastened when he is to be burnt. Hence, to perish at the stake, is to die a martyr, or to die in torment. Hence,
  5. Figuratively, martyrdom. The stake was prepared for those who were convicted of heresy.
  6. That which is pledged or wagered; that which is set, thrown down, or laid, to abide the issue of a contest, to be gained by victory or lost by defeat.
  7. The state of being laid or pledged as a wager. His honor is at stake.
  8. A small anvil to straighten cold work, or to cut and punch upon. – Moxon.

STAKE, v.t.

  1. To fasten, support or defend with stakes; as, to stake vines or plants.
  2. To mark the limits by stakes; with out; as, to stake out land; to stake out a new road, or the ground for a canal.
  3. To wager; to pledge; to put at hazard upon the issue of competition, or upon a future contingency. I'll stake yon lamb that near the fountain plays. – Pope.
  4. To point or sharpen stakes. [Not used in America.]
  5. To pierce with a stake. – Spectator.

STAK'ED, pp.

Fastened or supported by stakes; set or marked with stakes; wagered; put at hazard.


In rope-making, a stake with wooden pins in the upper side to keep the strands apart.

STAK'ING, ppr.

  1. Supporting with stakes; marking with stakes; wagering; putting at hazard.
  2. Sharpening; pointing.

STA-LAC'TIC, or STA-LAC'TIC-AL, a. [from stalactite.]

Pertaining to stalactite; resembling an icicle. – Kirwan.