One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Especially of a hill or path: steep, sloping; set at a sharp angle; high.
Originally English regional (south-western). A section of river where the bed slopes and the water is shallow and runs swiftly; a rapid.
1no object To officiate at a wrestling match or other contest; to act as a referee. Hence more generally: to act as a mediator; to intercede or intervene. Frequently with between, among. Now only with reference to Cornish wrestling.
2no object With against: to fight or act in opposition to, to resist.
3With for: to strive or contend for (a desired object, an issue, principle, etc.). Also with up and with. Now somewhat rare.
4To make difficulties about something one objects to; to raise objections; to scruple; to quibble. Chiefly with at, about, specifying the thing objected to.
Old English; earliest use found in Rule of St. Benet. Cognate with Old Saxon stecul rough, rugged (Middle Low German stekel steep), Old High German stehhal steep, rugged (Middle High German stechel steep)<br>mid 16th century; earliest use found in John Palsgrave (d. 1554), teacher and scholar of languages. Apparently originally a variant of stightle;.
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