Definition of stay verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    stay

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//steɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//steɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they stay
    BrE BrE//steɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//steɪ//
     
    he / she / it stays
    BrE BrE//steɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//steɪz//
     
    past simple stayed
    BrE BrE//steɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//steɪd//
     
    past participle stayed
    BrE BrE//steɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//steɪd//
     
    -ing form staying
    BrE BrE//ˈsteɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsteɪɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  [intransitive] to continue to be in a particular place for a period of time without moving away to stay in bed ‘Do you want a drink?’ ‘No, thanks, I can't stay.’ Stay there and don't move! We ended up staying for lunch. She stayed at home (= did not go out to work) while the children were young. I'm staying late at the office tonight. My hat won't stay on! Can you stay behind after the others have gone and help me clear up? I can stay a few minutes longer. We stayed to see what would happen. stay doing something They stayed talking until well into the night. In spoken English stay can be used with and plus another verb, instead of with to and the infinitive, to show purpose or to tell somebody what to doI'll stay and help you.Can you stay and keep an eye on the baby?
  2. 2  [intransitive] to continue to be in a particular state or situation synonym remain + adj. He never stays angry for long. I can't stay awake any longer. The store stays open until late on Thursdays. Stay tuned (= used to ask people to continue listening to or watching a particular programme on the radio or television). + adv./prep. I don't know why they stay together (= remain married or in a relationship). Inflation stayed below 4% last month. She did not want to stay in nursing all her life. The TV stays on all day in their house. + noun We promised to stay friends for ever.
  3. 3  [intransitive] to live in a place temporarily as a guest or visitor We found out we were staying in the same hotel. My sister's coming to stay next week. He's staying with friends this weekend. I stayed three nights at my cousin's house. In Indian, Scottish and South African English stay can mean ‘to live in a place permanently’Where do you stay (= where do you live)?
  4. Word Originverb late Middle English (as a verb): from Anglo-Norman French estai-, stem of Old French ester, from Latin stare ‘to stand’.Extra examples ‘Stay with me!’ he pleaded. Alex stayed behind when the others had gone. At the moment, it’s all fine. Let’s hope it stays that way! Email is a great way to stay in touch with friends. He insists that he will not quit but will stay the course. He needs a place to stay. He never stays in one place for too long. I had no more reason to stay in California. I just couldn’t stay away. I try to stay on top of musical trends. I’d love to stay and chat but I must be going. I’m going to stay until tomorrow. She failed her exam, and had to stay on at school for another year. She stayed the night at Kathryn’s. The tax cuts will stay in place for two more years. We can’t stay here indefinitely. Won’t you let me stay? financial incentives for women to stay at home with their children the battle to stay on top ‘Do you want a drink?’ ‘No thanks, I can’t stay.’ Come and stay any time! He stayed for over a week. I can’t stay awake any longer. I don’t know why they stay together. I just want to stay in bed today. I’ll stay and help you. I’m staying at a hotel near the beach. Inflation stayed below 4% last month. It stayed cloudy for most of the day. Let’s hope it stays fine for the wedding this afternoon. Lost and so far from other human life, he faced a desperate struggle to stay alive. She couldn’t stay angry with him for long. She managed to stay cool during the meeting. She stayed at home while the children were young. She wanted a drink but she had to stay sober. She’s staying with her sister. Stay there and don’t move! Stay tuned. They found that they were staying in the same hotel. Where will you be staying? to stay awake/​alive/​afloat/​cool/​healthy/​dry/​sober/​calm/​sane/​constant/​faithful/​alertIdioms
    be here to stay, have come to stay
     
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    to be accepted or used by most people and therefore a permanent part of our lives It looks like televised trials are here to stay.
    (informal, especially North American English) to remain calm; to not worry It's OK—hang loose and stay cool.
    keep/stay/steer clear (of somebody/something)
     
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    to avoid a person or thing because it may cause problems Steer clear of the centre of town at this time of the evening.
    used to tell a dog not to move to continue doing something until it has finished or been completed, even though it is difficult Very few of the trainees have stayed the course. (old-fashioned or literary) to stop yourself from doing something; to prevent you from doing something (especially British English) to sleep at somebody’s house for one night You can always stay the night at our house. (informal) if somebody/something stays put, they continue to be in the place where they are or where they have been put He chose to stay put while the rest of us toured the area.
    Phrasal Verbsstay aroundstay awaystay instay onstay outstay out of somethingstay overstay up
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: stay