Definition of stead in US English:



  • The place or role that someone or something should have or fill (used in referring to a substitute)

    ‘you wish to have him superseded and to be appointed in his stead’
    • ‘Will we in the rest of Scotland follow the lead set by the Highland and Islands, or watch while others prosper in our stead?’
    • ‘In its stead, the new power of dismissing the Cabinet through a vote of no confidence was established.’
    • ‘He sends Seward in his stead, and gives him all of the papers and diaries to read.’
    • ‘He quoted the Local Autonomy Act, saying that a mayor has to issue an order appointing a deputy mayor to act in his stead.’
    • ‘The Democratic Governor of Oregon then appointed a Tilden elector in his stead.’
    • ‘Villagers south of York are fighting plans to knock down a derelict health centre and build three new houses in its stead.’
    • ‘He initially specialised in obstetrics, which was to hold him in good stead in his long career as a country doctor.’
    • ‘Then again, that might have landed you here in my stead, and I could not bear that.’
    • ‘Jayson drew his swallow and jumped off his stead as Virgo let out a bellow as he tried to scare off the attackers.’
    • ‘His grasp of finance stood him good stead when he presided over the wartime Board of Trade.’
    • ‘They had ceased to patronise the nautch, and in its stead preferred English music or military bands.’
    • ‘In its stead is a kiosk on the outskirts of town, selling bad burgers on a monthly lease.’
    • ‘Then they would need a new director to pick up from where he left off and know exactly what needed to be done in his stead.’
    • ‘An accurate representation of the facts was soon put up in its stead.’
    • ‘In his stead was a handsome young man with a happy grin and a promising future.’
    • ‘Had my son been born in his stead, he may have ended up doing the same.’
    • ‘In her stead comes a woman chatting with a puma, who represents inner happiness.’
    • ‘The answer was unanimous that he must die unless the principal man of his blood should suffer death in his stead.’
    • ‘Mr Matthews said the redevelopment was one of the reasons he had been chosen for the job and his experience held him in good stead.’
    • ‘Managing to gain King Peter's favor, she has acted in his stead during his illness.’


  • stand someone in good stead

    • Be advantageous or useful to someone over time or in the future.

      ‘his early training stood him in good stead’
      • ‘Her training in psychology has also stood her in good stead and places her well to co-ordinate a current project to deal with motivational issues related to decommissioning.’
      • ‘After all the ugliness of what has happened in our game, the building for the future that people such as Calderwood are undertaking will stand us in good stead.’
      • ‘He has always spoken without notes - a skill that stood him in good stead - but his support is trailing badly, despite the audience rating of him as charming and avuncular.’
      • ‘Just as importantly, these two major powers appear to be hell-bent on usurping an authority which has stood us in good stead for more than half a century.’
      • ‘For Guinness, it was ‘a psychological bulwark against the uncertainties of war and fear of the future and it stood me in good stead.’’
      • ‘But the ability to address a large number of people, from ministers in Parliament to troops on the battlefield, stood Elizabeth in good stead for the future.’
      • ‘Zaharia expects the experience gained in this election will stand her in good stead in the future, which, she suggests, could include another campaign.’
      • ‘And through their 30-plus year history, their belief in the rock ‘n roll ethos has stood them in good stead.’
      • ‘It will certainly stand me in good stead for the future and I have always loved working hard in the gym.’
      • ‘Matomela was punished to a certain extent by the NZ batsmen, but his debut will stand him in good stead for the future as well.’
      benefit, be beneficial to, be of benefit to, be advantageous to, be of advantage to, be of use to, be of value to, do someone good, help, be helpful to, be of service to, serve, assist, aid, stand someone in good stead, further the interests of, advance, promote
      View synonyms


Old English stede ‘place’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch stad ‘town’, German Statt ‘place’, Stadt ‘town’, from an Indo-European root shared by the verb stand.