Date: 1400-1500
Language: Old French
Origin: ester 'to stand, stay', from Latin stare


1 verb
stay1 S1 W1

in a place

[intransitive] to remain in a place rather than leave:
They stayed all afternoon, chatting.
I decided to stay home.
stay for a year/ten minutes/a week etc
Isabel stayed for a year in Paris to study.
stay in
Stay in bed and drink plenty of liquids.
She stayed late to finish the report.
stay here/there
Stay right there! I'll be back in a minute.
stay to dinner/stay for lunch etc
Why don't you stay for supper?
stay behind/after
Some of the students stayed after class to talk (=remained after others had gone).
stay and do something
I should stay and help.

in a condition

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition, linking verb] to continue to be in a particular position, place, or state, without changing [= remain]:
Rollings will stay as chairman this year.
stay adj
Eat right to stay healthy.
It was hard to stay awake.
Nine women gained weight, and four stayed the same.
stay away/in/on etc
Stay away from my daughter!
You stay on this road for a mile before turning off.
stay around
Most of her boyfriends don't stay around (=stay with her) very long.

live somewhere

[intransitive] to live in a place for a short time as a visitor or guest:
How long are they going to stay?
stay at/with
My mother is staying with us this week.
stay in
They're staying in the same hotel.
stay the night/stay overnight/stay over (=stay from one evening to the next day)
Did you stay the night at Carolyn's?

stay put

spoken to remain in one place and not move:
Stay put until I get back.

be here to stay

to become accepted and used by most people:
Professional women's basketball is here to stay.

stay after (school)

SES to remain at school after the day's classes are finished, often as a punishment

stay the course

informal to finish something in spite of difficulties:
Dieters should try hard to stay the course.

stay tuned

a) to continue watching or listening to the same television channel or radio station
b) used to say that you should look or listen for more information about a particular subject at a later time:
The project is still under discussion, so stay tuned.


DHP used to tell a dog not to move

stay somebody's hand

literary to stop someone from doing something

stay an order/ruling/execution etc

law if a judge stays an order, ruling etc, they stop a particular decision from being used or a particular action from happening

➔ stay in touch

at touch2 (4)

stay in

phrasal verb
to spend the evening at home rather than go out:
I was tired, so I decided to stay in.

stay on

phrasal verb
to continue to do a job or to study after the usual or expected time for leaving:
He resigned as chairman, but stayed on as an instructor.

stay out

phrasal verb
1 to remain away from home during the evening or night:
He started staying out late, drinking.

stay out of something

spoken to not get involved in an argument or fight:
You stay out of it. It's none of your business.

stay up

phrasal verb
to not go to bed at the time you would normally go to bed:
We stayed up all night, talking.
I let the kids stay up late on Fridays.

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