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staunch definition


This page has 4 definitions of staunch in English. Staunch is an adjective and verb. Examples of how to use staunch in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .


Alternative forms


From Middle English staunche, from Anglo-Norman estaunche, Old French estanche (firm, watertight) (whence Modern French étanche); compare the verb estanchier. Compare Romansch staunza and Spanish estante.



staunch (comparative stauncher, superlative staunchest)

  1. Loyal, trustworthy, reliable.
    He's been a staunch supporter of mine through every election.
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 16]”, in Ulysses, London: The Egoist Press, published October 1922, OCLC 2297483:
      he relished a glass of choice old wine in season as both nourishing and bloodmaking and possessing aperient virtues (notably a good burgundy which he was a staunch believer in)
    • 1959 April, P. Ransome-Wallis, “The Southern in Trouble on the Kent Coast”, in Trains Illustrated, London: Ian Allan Publishing, ISSN 0141-9935, OCLC 35845948, page 213:
      Never at any time in its history has there been so much universal anger at and criticism of the Southern. The railway's staunchest friends must concede that most of it is justified.
  2. Dependable, persistent.
    Without our staunch front line the enemy would have split the regiment.

Derived terms



staunch (third-person singular simple present staunches, present participle staunching, simple past and past participle staunched)

  1. (transitive) To stop the flow of (blood).
  2. (transitive) To stop, check, or deter an action.
    Somebody's got to staunch those press leaks!

Usage notes

The spelling staunch is more commonly used for the adjective. In contrast, stanch is more commonly used as the spelling of the verb. Be aware that prescriptively, one's readers may assume that reversals of these preferences are incorrect.

Derived terms

  • staunchable


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