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Syllabification: stave
Pronunciation: /stāv

Definition of stave in English:


1A vertical wooden post or plank in a building or other structure.
Example sentences
  • It's like a workshop in Hades - you feel the heat from barrels set over open fires in the floor and hear the piercing din of hammers on steel as hoops are pounded onto staves.
  • Cutting staves led to the purchase of a kiln, which, in turn, opened up additional markets.
  • Here there were no men training, only a few targets and a pile of wooden staves in the corner.
1.1Any of the lengths of wood attached side by side to make a barrel, bucket, or other container.
Example sentences
  • Experiments with brandy as well as wine, however, demonstrate the superiority of air-dried over kiln-dried wood for barrel staves.
  • To illustrate this, Liebig imagined a barrel crafted out of staves of mismatched lengths.
  • The wood of the stave and arrow shafts was dark with moisture.
1.2A strong wooden stick or iron pole used as a weapon.
Example sentences
  • In the center lie a pile of wooden swords, staves, daggers, shields.
  • Every character has swords, staves or other edged weaponry, which you can perform light spin attacks or strong power strikes on opponents.
  • The two guards were confronted by four men in balaclavas, armed with a small samurai sword and wooden staves.
2 Music another term for staff1 (sense 4) of the noun).
Example sentences
  • A typical graph contains one or more grand staves, or piano staves, so one will likely begin with a piano template.
  • In his Alphabet des mouvements du corps humain he placed movement symbols on a special stave while recording the floor patterns above it.
3A verse or stanza of a poem.


[with object] Back to top  
1 (past and past participle staved or stove /stōv/) (stave something in) Break something by forcing it inward or piercing it roughly: the door was staved in
2 (past and past participle staved) (stave something off) Avert or delay something bad or dangerous: a reassuring presence can stave off a panic attack
More example sentences
  • But, largely thanks to the efforts of the ‘Save the Jags’ campaign, under whose auspices Thistle supporters rallied to raise funds, the immediate threat of closure was staved off.
  • In cults and controlling groups the crisis of admitting that everything one has believed is wrong is staved off by finding new explanations for discrepancies in the group's ideas and rules.
  • But at least you've staved it off for 30, 40 years so that you don't get those proportionate deadly results.


Middle English: back-formation from staves. Current senses of the verb date from the early 17th century.

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