- —n. - celestial body appearing as a luminous point in the night sky.
- large naturally luminous gaseous body such as the sun.
- celestial body regarded as influencing fortunes etc.
- thing like a star in shape or appearance.
- decoration or mark of rank or excellence etc., usu. With radiating points.
- a famous or brilliant person; principal performer (star of the show).
—v. - continue in the same place or condition; not depart or change.
- (often foll. By at, in, with) reside temporarily.
- archaic or literary a stop or check. B (esp. In imper.) Pause.
- postpone (judgement etc.).
- assuage (hunger etc.), esp. Temporarily. —n. - act or period of staying.
- suspension or postponement of a sentence, judgement, etc.
- prop, support.
- (in pl.) Hist. (esp. Boned) corset. stay the course endure to the end. Stay in remain indoors. Stay the night remain overnight. Stay put colloq. Remain where it is placed or where one is. Stay up not go to bed (until late). [anglo-french from latin sto stand: sense 3 of n. From french, formed as *stay2]
- n. - naut. Rope or guy supporting a mast, flagstaff, etc.
- supporting cable on an aircraft etc. [old english from germanic]
—n. - main body or stalk of a plant.
- stalk of a fruit, flower, or leaf.
- stem-shaped part, as: a the slender part of a wineglass. B the tube of a tobacco-pipe. C a vertical stroke in a letter or musical note.
- gram. Root or main part of a noun, verb, etc., to which inflections are added.
- main upright timber at the bow of a ship (from stem to stern). —v. (-mm-) (foll. By from) spring or originate from. [old english]
- v. (-mm-) check or stop. [old norse]
gun n. Lightweight sub-machine-gun. [s and t (initials of its inventors' surnames) + -en after *bren]
comb. Form denoting a relationship resulting from a parent's later marriage. [old english, = orphaned]
- —n. - a complete movement of one leg in walking or running. B distance so covered.
- unit of movement in dancing.
- measure taken, esp. One of several in a course of action.
- surface of a stair, stepladder, etc.; tread.
- short distance.
- sound or mark made by a foot in walking etc.
- manner of walking etc.
- degree in the scale of promotion or precedence etc.
- a stepping in unison or to music (esp. In or out of step). B state of conforming (refuses to keep step with the team). 10 (in pl.) (also pair of steps) = *stepladder. —v. (-pp-) 1 lift and set down one's foot or alternate feet in walking.
- come or go in a specified direction by stepping.
- make progress in a specified way (stepped into a new job).
- (foll. By off, out) measure (distance) by stepping.
- perform (a dance). mind (or watch) one's step be careful. Step by step gradually; cautiously. Step down resign. Step in 1 enter.
- intervene. Step on it colloq. Accelerate; hurry up. Step out 1 be active socially.
- take large steps. Step out of line behave inappropriately or disobediently. Step up increase, intensify. [old english]
suffix denoting a person engaged in or associated with a particular activity or quality (brewster; gangster; youngster). [old english]
v. (-tt-) (usu. Written on a proof-sheet etc.) Ignore or cancel (the alteration); let the original stand. [latin, = let it stand]
A cat will clean itself with paw and tongue after a dangerous experience or when it has fought with another cat. This is an attempt by the animal to soothe its nerves by doing something natural and instinctive.