From stead + -y, calquing Middle Low German or Middle Dutch stēdig. Cognate with West Frisian stadich (“slow”), Danish stedig, stadig, steeg, Swedish stadig, Icelandic stöðugur, German stätig, stetig.
- enPR: stĕdʹi, IPA(key): /ˈstɛdi/
- (dialectal) enPR: stĭdʹi, stŭdʹi, IPA(key): /ˈstɪdi/, /ˈstʌdi/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛdi
steady (comparative steadier, superlative steadiest)
- Firm in standing or position; not tottering or shaking; fixed; firm.
- Hold the ladder steady while I go up.
- a. 1587, Philippe Sidnei [i.e., Philip Sidney], “(please specify the page number)”, in Fulke Greville, Matthew Gwinne, and John Florio, editors, The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia [The New Arcadia], London: […] [John Windet] for William Ponsonbie, published 1590, →OCLC; republished in Albert Feuillerat, editor, The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia (Cambridge English Classics: The Complete Works of Sir Philip Sidney; I), Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: University Press, 1912, →OCLC:
- Their feet steady, their hands diligent, their eyes watchful, and their hearts resolute.
- 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., […], →OCLC:
- But then I had the flintlock by me for protection. ¶ There were giants in the days when that gun was made; for surely no modern mortal could have held that mass of metal steady to his shoulder. The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window, […].
- 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
- Captain Edward Carlisle, soldier as he was, martinet as he was, felt a curious sensation of helplessness seize upon him as he met her steady gaze, her alluring smile ; he could not tell what this prisoner might do.
- Constant in feeling, purpose, or pursuit; not fickle, changeable, or wavering; not easily moved or persuaded to alter a purpose; resolute.
- a man steady in his principles, in his purpose, or in the pursuit of an object
- 2003, Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices: Inserts Only, page 10:
- During programmed changes, no steady green signal indication or flashing yellow signal indication shall be terminated and immediately followed by a steady red or flashing red signal indication without first displaying the steady yellow signal […]
- Smooth and not bumpy or with obstructions.
- a steady ride
- Regular and even.
- the steady course of the Sun; a steady breeze of wind
- (firm): robust, solid, untottering
- (constant in purpose or action): dogged, staunch, unyielding; see also Thesaurus:obstinate
- (smooth, not bumpy): fluid
- (regular and even): constant, uniform, unvarying; see also Thesaurus:steady
- (slow): glacial, ponderous, stately; see also Thesaurus:slow
- (regular and even): unsteady; see also Thesaurus:unsteady
constant in purpose or action
smooth and not bumpy or with obstructions
regular and even
steady (third-person singular simple present steadies, present participle steadying, simple past and past participle steadied)
- (transitive, sometimes figurative) To stabilize; to prevent from shaking.
- I took a drink to steady my nerves.
- (intransitive) To become stable.
- 2010, Scott Westerfeld, Leviathan:
- The ship steadied in the air. Another spray of ballast came, heavier than the last.
- (African-American Vernacular) Aspect marker indicating consistency or intensity.
- (The addition of quotations indicative of this usage is being sought:)
steady (plural steadies)
- A rest or support, as for the hand, a tool, or a piece of work.
- (informal) A regular boyfriend or girlfriend.
- 2002, Frederick E. Von Burg, Keep My White Sneakers, Kit Carson, iUniverse, →ISBN, page 13:
- “Dalton is my steady, now. If I break up with him, you're the first on the list.” “Thanks,” said Ted. “What a privilege to be second choice.”
- (informal) A prostitute's regular customer.
- 2013, Sheila Foster, Soho Whore:
- Some of my steadies wanted me to go out with them on a date. Occasionally I let one of them take me to a film or out for a meal.
steady (not comparable)
- (rowing, informal) To row with pressure at a low stroke-rating, often 18 strokes per minute.
- After the sprint pieces, we rowed steady for the rest of practice.
- ^ Stanley, Oma (1937), “I. Vowel Sounds in Stressed Syllables”, in The Speech of East Texas (American Speech: Reprints and Monographs; 2), New York: Columbia University Press, →DOI, →ISBN, § 4, page 13.
- “steady”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- “steady”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
- steady at OneLook Dictionary Search