Stay v. t. [imp. & p. p. Stayed or Staid p. pr. & vb. n. Staying.]
1. To stop from motion or falling; to prop; to fix firmly; to hold up; to support.
Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side. --Ex. xvii. 12.
Sallows and reeds . . . for vineyards useful found
To stay thy vines. --Dryden.
2. To support from sinking; to sustain with strength; to satisfy in part or for the time.
He has devoured a whole loaf of bread and butter, and it has not staid his stomach for a minute. --Sir W. Scott.
3. To bear up under; to endure; to support; to resist successfully.
She will not stay the siege of loving terms,
Nor bide the encounter of assailing eyes. --Shak.
4. To hold from proceeding; to withhold; to restrain; to stop; to hold.
Him backward overthrew and down him stayed
With their rude hands and grisly grapplement. --Spenser.
All that may stay their minds from thinking that true which they heartily wish were false. --Hooker.
5. To hinder; to delay; to detain; to keep back.
Your ships are stayed at Venice. --Shak.
This business staid me in London almost a week. --Evelyn.
I was willing to stay my reader on an argument that appeared to me new. --Locke.
6. To remain for the purpose of; to wait for. “I stay dinner there.”
7. To cause to cease; to put an end to.
Stay your strife. --Shak.
For flattering planets seemed to say
This child should ills of ages stay. --Emerson.
8. Engin. To fasten or secure with stays; as, to stay a flat sheet in a steam boiler.
9. Naut. To tack, as a vessel, so that the other side of the vessel shall be presented to the wind.
To stay a mast Naut., to incline it forward or aft, or to one side, by the stays and backstays.
Stayed a. Staid; fixed; settled; sober; -- now written staid. See Staid.