Main definitions of still in English

: still1still2



  • 1Not moving or making a sound.

    ‘the still body of the young man’
    ‘the sheriff commanded him to stand still and drop the gun’
    ‘she sat very still, her eyes closed’
    ‘he lay still, unable to move’
    • ‘When she touched his still body, he opened his eyes.’
    • ‘No one moved, except the town Sheriff who moved towards the still body and checked the pulse.’
    • ‘He looks as if he would be more at home in the still places of academe than in the hurly-burly of political life.’
    motionless, unmoving, without moving, without moving a muscle, stock-still, immobile, like a statue, as if turned to stone, as if rooted to the spot, unstirring, stationary
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    1. 1.1 (of air or water) undisturbed by wind, sound, or current; calm and tranquil.
      ‘her voice carried on the still air’
      ‘a still autumn day’
      • ‘Choose a still day and keep the nose of the watering can well down to avoid poisoning plants in your borders.’
      • ‘Take control of your life, preferably in a beautiful place and beside still waters.’
      • ‘Well, there is another fish that inhabit many of the still waters which are open for fishing.’
      • ‘The tip of the oar sliced down through the surface of the still water like a knife through smoke.’
      • ‘On a still evening when the light is thick and gold, take a basket to the delis in Five Ways in Paddington.’
      • ‘Sitting by the window and looking outwards, I noticed how very still it was yesterday.’
      • ‘One big advantage of fishing above the dam is that it is still water and offers the opportunity to fish with a float.’
      • ‘Are you panting from exertion all the time during a dive in still water, instead of feeling relaxed?’
      • ‘The atmosphere was very still and tense as parents waited to learn what had happened to their children.’
      • ‘On both rivers and still waters, fish will eat this fly and the tying for this pattern is very simple.’
      • ‘He drew deeply on his hookah, wheezing and coughing, making it burble and bubble in the still air.’
      • ‘The water is perfectly still, with no current, no wind and hardly a ripple for waves.’
      • ‘The odd swan and some of the resident ducks can be seen coming into land on the still waters as well.’
      • ‘In my book these are the finest still waters I have had the privilege to fish in the British Isles.’
      • ‘In the event, they were right, and the air was perfectly still, so it was stiflingly hot.’
      • ‘I will look at trotting fast flowing waters before moving into still water tactics.’
      • ‘The suprabatham from the temple loud speaker floated in the still air of the morning.’
      • ‘Large trout are temptingly visible in the clear still waters of mountain lakes.’
      • ‘Mists condensed in the still air and blurred the vigorous shapes and almost made soft rain.’
      • ‘Safe to say it felt rather more exciting than my experiences on British still water lakes.’
      quiet, silent, hushed, soundless, noiseless, undisturbed, sound-free
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2British (of a drink) not effervescent.
      Compare with sparkling (sense 2)
      • ‘Put us down for three cases of the sparkling mineral water, and two of the still.’
      • ‘Visible bubbles in a supposedly still wine are frequently viewed as a fault.’
      • ‘I thought he was cured; on Friday night we all managed a bottle of still water each at dinner.’
      • ‘Just remember to pour only the tiniest amount in each glass - and have plenty of still water on the side.’
      • ‘The best drinks for children are milk, which contains calcium, and still water.’
      • ‘If you are sick, be sure to replace lost fluids with frequent small sips of cold, still water’


  • 1Deep silence and calm; stillness.

    ‘the still of the night’
    • ‘He and friends were fly-fishing for carp in the Mzimvubu River when the still of the day was suddenly overwhelmed by raucous alarm calls of a clearly frightened flock of hadedas, in his words, "shouting and screaming" as they took off.’
    quietness, quiet, quietude, silence, stillness, hush, soundlessness, noiselessness
    View synonyms
  • 2An ordinary static photograph as opposed to a motion picture, especially a single shot from a movie.

    • ‘He took the great director's advice and touted his portfolio - stuffed with stills of the film stars he'd worked with - around the offices of Italy's picture editors.’
    • ‘After 1959, he devoted himself to film, and his later photographic pieces are often printed directly from film strips or stills with text written by hand.’
    • ‘Each gallery features photos from the production of the film, as well as stills and publicity shots from the series and the movie.’
    • ‘They often don't illustrate what the film is about the way that narrative film stills do.’
    • ‘Equally interesting are the galleries of storyboards, production designs, and publicity stills from the film.’
    • ‘At the same time, the pictures resemble film stills.’
    • ‘Looking like film noir stills, these photographs were nighttime shots of the actual sites where the fateful encounters between police and civilians occurred.’
    • ‘The stills from this film could compete in any photography exhibit.’
    • ‘These 1970s photographs were staged for the camera and distributed as stills from nonexistent motion pictures.’
    • ‘What we do get is a photo gallery of about 14 stills from the film and the theatrical trailer, presented in anamorphic widescreen.’
    • ‘There is a wonderful slide show presentation of stills from the film that give us more detail about the life and lifestyle of pool surfers.’
    • ‘Also included is a photo gallery of behind the scenes pictures and stills from the film.’
    • ‘He is a young Berlin-based artist who forages among film stills and documentary photographs, making paintings and charcoal drawings after the images he finds.’
    • ‘You also get a photo gallery featuring production stills and international poster art.’
    • ‘These are interspersed with stills from the film and some mildly interesting behind-the-scenes clips.’
    • ‘Film stills of the six stereotyped characters were handed out to engage students with three discussion questions: Who/what do these images portray?’
    • ‘His manuscript included declassified satellite imagery and maps as well as eyewitness statements, personal photographs, stills from a documentary film, and other items.’
    • ‘They're the only production stills of the film that exist.’
    • ‘Collected photographs, stills, archival film footage, and interview segments all look fine, though some sport more of a worn look than others.’
    • ‘He flips the brochure round and shows me a horrific black-and-white still of a starving child.’


  • 1Up to and including the present or the time mentioned; even now (or then) as formerly.

    ‘he still lives with his mother’
    ‘it was still raining’
    • ‘Some younger trees were still standing, but leaves and small branches had been stripped off.’
    • ‘He has insisted he has done nothing wrong and says the science behind his study still stands.’
    • ‘When it comes to bathrooms, the old philosophy of less is more still stands.’
    • ‘The Committee members unanimously agreed that they were still of the same mind.’
    • ‘We made our decision on this issue more than a year ago, and our position still stands.’
    • ‘At this point, we are just hoping that our home will still be standing when we eventually return.’
    • ‘Just think to yourself that you've had a tough life, but you're still standing.’
    • ‘The mansions still stand, but the mines have closed and the town has declined.’
    • ‘There was a bomb at the Capitol, we were told, yet it still stood, glinting under glorious skies.’
    • ‘The sculpture was repaired and still stands today, but the country itself is taking longer to patch up.’
    • ‘If a dead tree is still standing, we leave it, as we do with woody debris on the forest floor.’
    • ‘It is hundreds of years old, one of the oldest statues still standing there.’
    • ‘The distinction between real and personal property is an ancient one and is still of importance today.’
    • ‘By the way, what I said in my previous entry about my independence still stands.’
    • ‘The beige leather furniture is still in place, standing on the blond-wood floor.’
    • ‘Research into questions of this type is still of major importance in combinatorial group theory.’
    • ‘The huge turbines were still standing, but everything around them was rubble.’
    • ‘The quote and source may be a little muddled, but the sentiment still stands.’
    • ‘My grandmother was still standing near her chair with a concentrated look on her face.’
    • ‘The great church of St Bavo still stands in Haarlem today and to pause in its nave is an awesome experience.’
    up to this time, up to the present time, until now, even now, yet
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Referring to something that will or may happen in the future.
      ‘we could still win’
      • ‘Standard Life is still capable of winning the war but in the early conflict it has lost a skirmish.’
      • ‘There was still a chance to win the game as there were two more potential matches remaining.’
      • ‘His being first up is key, but they can afford to lose that and still go on to win the tournament.’
      • ‘This is a guide to what has been done so far, as well as what may still change in the future.’
      • ‘South Africa are on only two points, but they have a game in hand and can still win the series.’
      • ‘Their boss had claimed beforehand that Liverpool can still win the title.’
      • ‘Norwich came as close as that to a draw, but alas, they are still to win a Premiership game this season.’
      • ‘Sheffield has a more integrated centre but is really still a dream waiting to happen.’
      • ‘He felt compelled to show that China might still have a future as great as her past.’
      • ‘Indeed, it could be said that Africa is a cause still to be won and that takers are hardly thin on the ground.’
  • 2Nevertheless; all the same.

    ‘I'm afraid he's crazy. Still, he's harmless’
    • ‘North Yorkshire got off lightly in comparison, but there were still scenes of devastation.’
    • ‘Participants who were not lucky enough to win a prize still walked away with a free hair treatment goodie bag.’
    • ‘How could he be stripped of the points for winning but still be recorded as the race winner?’
    • ‘It was said that he used to cover his eyes when he putted but still he won his share of tournaments.’
    • ‘But still, having won on a ticket of change, it is clear that change there will have to be.’
    • ‘There's a bit of a sour taste in the mouth, but we've still won the war, like we always said we would.’
    • ‘Although we'll take a lot of confidence out of the win, we still have to be realistic and not get too carried away.’
    • ‘The old boy may be on his last legs as a possible champion but he still knows how to make the opposition sweat.’
    nevertheless, however, in spite of that, despite that, notwithstanding, for all that, all the same, even so, be that as it may, having said that, nonetheless, but
    View synonyms
  • 3Even (used with comparatives for emphasis)

    ‘write, or better still, type, captions for the pictures’
    ‘Hank, already sweltering, began to sweat still more profusely’
    • ‘Worse still, victims of repeated high winds may begin to find it difficult to get any cover at all.’
    • ‘Emphasis on the omnipotence of God is still more pronounced in the writings of William of Ockham.’
    • ‘While much has been accomplished, there is still more work to be done as we rebuild from the nation's worst natural disaster.’
    • ‘But the growth is still much less than last year with prices beginning to level out.’


  • Make or become still; quieten.

    with object ‘she raised her hand, stilling Erica's protests’
    no object ‘the din in the hall stilled’
    • ‘The clink of glasses is stilled for once over at Uborka to be replaced by the sound of slapped backs and plaudits being handed round.’
    • ‘As each of these books illustrates, reading is an addiction that cannot be stilled with a sojourn at the Priory.’
    • ‘‘Adagio’ is particularly stilling, with melodic wanderings complemented by moments of harmonic peace and clarity.’
    • ‘His mind cannot be stilled and new ideas will be born everyday.’
    • ‘Ethics, therefore, as the philosophy of the ultimate purpose of the world can only proclaim the aimlessness of the cosmic process and seek to put an end to it by stilling the will.’
    • ‘All one's endless longing for life's pleasures are stilled on the shores of the Arabian Sea.’
    • ‘Michael gritted his teeth, stilling his retort as he watched them walked away.’
    • ‘But no, the world was told the next morning that her appearance was a tour de force that somehow stilled all doubts about her candidacy.’
    • ‘No one who saw what happened will ever be able to forget, but the formal silence was a powerful way of stilling the world for a moment and remembering.’
    • ‘After all don't forget all of our positions as well are being stilled because of the restructure.’
    • ‘Another reason for stilling the mind is that pulse diagnosis is a subtle intuitive art requiring an empty, open and receptive mental state.’
    • ‘Calming my features and stilling my anger I approached him.’
    • ‘Ten days of frenzied reporting had not been stilled by increasingly angry Downing Street statements.’
    • ‘The hub-hub stilled, a few whispered good evenings were said, and the couple eventually got to the bar.’
    • ‘The entrance hall grew still, and the tremendous noise of chatter stilled as they reached the last step.’
    • ‘In three apocalyptic months, the countryside was transformed and stilled.’
    • ‘If we don't use it to fuel our political potential, that potential will be stilled by fear or paralysis.’
    • ‘Her stomach fluttered - this could kill her, possibly - and she clamped down on it, stilling her nerves until her mind was smooth and unruffled.’
    • ‘Rumour mills may not be stilled unless they are quickly provided.’
    • ‘Typically, meditation involves sitting still in a quiet atmosphere, stilling the mind, and focusing on an object of meditation - perhaps a candle, a mantra or simply one's own breath.’
    quieten, quiet, silence, hush
    abate, die down, grow less, lessen, subside, ease off, ease up, let up, moderate, slacken, weaken, fade away
    View synonyms


  • still and all

    • informal Nevertheless; even so.

      • ‘But still and all, it's not that real scientists are in a ‘Give me Darwin or Give Me Death’ mode, as the creationists claim.’
      • ‘It's true that we in academic pharmacy may not live in the Utopia that characterized Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood but, still and all, the similarities definitely outweigh the differences.’
      • ‘An old one, sure, and one with sloppy paint, bald tires, and orange rust chewing at the rocker panels, but still and all, a Cadillac in the attic.’
      • ‘But still and all, it's worth remembering that stakeholder systems have shown promise in the past, not just in theory but in many years of practice.’
      • ‘But still and all, we feel that Government should take the NCZ problem more earnestly this time round to ensure that the plant resumes its full production capacity as soon as possible.’
      • ‘Polls show that Prince Charles is certainly not as popular as his son, but still and all, he will be king first.’
      • ‘Yes, I know trick-or treating is more like trick-or-petty rime these days, but still and all the spirit world can be quite virulent this time of the year.’
      • ‘I mean, that may well be true but still and all, show me the money as it were.’
      • ‘A wonderful, fabulous, magnificent game, to be sure, but, still and all, a game.’
      • ‘The point of all of this is that still and all, I keep coming back.’
  • still small voice

    • The voice of one's conscience (with reference to 1 Kings 19:12).

      • ‘Then, a still small voice, spoke to Charlie's conscience, saying, ‘as a woman thinketh in her heart, so is she.’’
      • ‘He talks constantly about his conscience but fails to recognise that the still small voice does not speak to him alone.’
      • ‘Not only relaxing - it's likely to turn our hearts more readily to our Creator, to get onto the same wavelength as Him, to tune in to that still small voice.’
      • ‘But you think if you ran for office, you'd be just the still small voice in the night, even if you were elected?’
      • ‘That God gives us that still small voice that tells us right from wrong and expects our own actions because we have free will and we cooperate and do good and create goodness.’
      • ‘That last piece of advice wasn't from me; it's from the still small voice up in the balcony, someone who may never have the strength to lift a thumb again.’
      • ‘Be very concerned if you never hear that still small voice inside you saying, ‘This is wrong and you know it.’’
      • ‘Regrets that come about from not listening to the still small voice that nudges you toward the place where you perhaps would rather not go, yet must go.’
      • ‘This ground bass of prayer, coupled with the lively glory and tragedy of living in a modern city, bring together the two aspects of the work of the Spirit-the still small voice and its wind and fire.’
      • ‘Through the Spanish language we know God and hear God in the still small voice and in the coritos, the little chorus songs that are popular in our worship.’
  • still waters run deep

    • proverb A quiet or placid manner may conceal a more passionate nature.

      • ‘No, not exactly - though, they say still waters run deep.’
      • ‘He's an example of the saying ‘still waters run deep’.’
      • ‘‘The phrase ‘still waters run deep’ characterizes him,’ says the president of Spelman College.’
      • ‘With this type it is true that still waters run deep.’
      • ‘They say still waters run deep, which means a quiet guy has lots on his mind.’


Old English stille (adjective and adverb), stillan (verb), of West Germanic origin, from a base meaning ‘be fixed, stand’.




Main definitions of still in English

: still1still2



  • An apparatus for distilling alcoholic drinks such as whiskey.

    • ‘There are 130 herbs and spices in the original recipe for chartreuse, preserved in an alcoholic base that the monks brew in copper stills.’
    • ‘If Islay's signature metal is the burnished copper of whisky stills, it gave place last weekend to the brassy sheen or sandblasted seriousness of the saxophone.’
    • ‘This was a prohibition area at that time, but whisky was brewed in illicit stills in the Hokonui Hills.’
    • ‘Diageo had a successful single malt on the Spanish market, so successful in fact, that we are led to believe that the stills at the distillery on Speyside could not keep up with sales.’
    • ‘This is the view that the Caol Ila workers get as they quietly superintend the six huge stills at the island's most productive distillery (it produces up to 3.5 million litres of pure alcohol per year).’
    • ‘Its whisky stills are the original copper and brass Victorian ones.’
    • ‘It got the name ‘moonshine’ during Prohibition after the light by which mash men tended their illegal stills.’
    • ‘He gossips about the dipsomania in town whilst tracking down and smashing stills.’
    • ‘There is also the stereotyped factoid that the original owners made a ‘canny Scots decision when they purchased second-hand gin stills from a London gin distiller’.’
    • ‘After a few years in cask, brandies made from the same type of wine but from different districts within the Cognac region, distilled in the same stills, being matured in the same casks, take on very different characteristics.’
    • ‘Irish monks also found a different use for the alembic stills that had been used to make perfume in the Middle East since the fourth century.’
    • ‘The mixture then goes through a series of vast tuns until it reaches the small oddly-shaped stills, which the family-run distillery retains to ensure consistency of the whisky.’
    • ‘The Ukrainian solution - homemade stills - is all but discarded among Americans.’
    • ‘The fermented solution is moved into large copper stills for the distilling process.’
    • ‘Irish farmers hid their stills and kept on making moonshine.’
    • ‘Distillation by this pot still method often required two distillations in separate stills.’
    • ‘Through the run of ganglions the wash is piped into two huge stills - one for surgical spirit and denatured alcohol and the other for white rum.’
    • ‘Historically the shrub's wood has been used as fragrant firewood and in Scotland juniper was the plant of choice for illegal whisky stills as the plant was said to burn with less smoke.’
    • ‘And the secret of this glorious, warming taste lies within those gleaming copper stills.’
    • ‘Cooks used it to make sauces and its wood was the fuel for illicit whisky stills because it gave off no smoke.’


Mid 16th century: from the rare verb still ‘extract by distillation’, shortening of distill.