Open main menu

Wiktionary β





From be- +‎ stay, from Middle English *stayen, steyen, from Old French estaier, estayer (to prop, stay, support), from estaye (prop, support), of Germanic origin. More at stay.


bestay (third-person singular simple present bestays, present participle bestaying, simple past and past participle bestayed)

  1. (transitive) To secure or steady; cause to come to a fixed position or state; bring to a halt or stop.
    • 1834, Theodore Sedwick Fay, George Pope Morris, Samuel Woodworth, New-York mirror:
      Mid the half-furrowed field bestay the plough, Bid the twin toilers of the yoke go free, And aught that doth thee patient servitude, From closing sabbath to its blest return, [...]
    • 1874, Great Britain. Public Record Office, Calendar of state papers, foreign series, of the reign of Elizabeth:
      Hereupon the magistrates of the town cried "Hola, hola, bestay the matter."
    • 1940, Thornwell Jacobs, Red lanterns on St. Michael's:
      Bestay thee, bestay thee in fighting!