Definition of sturdy in US English:



  • 1(of a person or their body) strongly and solidly built.

    ‘he had a sturdy, muscular physique’
    • ‘She has a glossy blonde bob, a dazzling-white smile, a well-honed but sturdy figure, and so much energy that you could probably plug her into the National Grid if there was a power cut.’
    • ‘He was sturdy and well built, but quick on his feet.’
    • ‘The Elizabethan Poor Law enshrined this right with the practice of sturdy and less sturdy beggars being sent back to their parish of origin ostensibly for help.’
    • ‘He was not an enormous man, but he had a firm, sturdy body.’
    • ‘He was a short and sturdy man, with wispy gray hair and white stubble framing his jawbone.’
    • ‘Under the firmly delineated garments, a compact, sturdy body makes its presence felt.’
    • ‘He was beautifully formed, his body was sturdy and his face, though puffy and red, showed signs of inheriting his father's masculine beauty.’
    • ‘Already slender, he will lose five more pounds, a task made difficult by his sturdy skier's physique.’
    • ‘It is a square-proportioned dog with a compact, sturdy body.’
    • ‘He's a sturdy kid coming off a solid transition season in the Western Hockey League.’
    • ‘Aidan was five, a sturdy boy with chubby arms and legs.’
    • ‘But even as she stood next to Mrs Leer's huge, sturdy figure, she seemed small and insignificant.’
    • ‘The most magical things about Matthew Bugg's balletic Ariel are the flying effects; his sturdy body never quite fits his name.’
    • ‘A sturdy people, the Dogras are divided into several castes and classes.’
    • ‘She would hide her head in the embrace of his arms, leaning against his sturdy body, and they would hold each other in their sleep and wake up in a completely different position.’
    • ‘The bridge certainly dates back to the days when all trade goods in Britain were transported on the backs of small, sturdy horses, led by equally sturdy men across the wild parts.’
    • ‘He looked about in boredom, gaze falling up to the helm, where he found the sturdy figure of his father's first mate stood.’
    • ‘He's a sturdy kid who prefers to stand tall instead of move around, but he fled several times against North Carolina when the heat was coming.’
    • ‘It required a huge kettle-drum and a sturdy guy to beat it non-stop.’
    • ‘The years had formed him into a sturdy lad, of average height and superior strength.’
    strapping, well built, well made, muscular, athletic, strong, hefty, brawny, powerfully built, powerful, solidly built, solid, burly, stocky, thickset, rugged, substantial, robust, vigorous, tough, hardy, mighty, lusty, herculean
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    1. 1.1 Strong enough to withstand rough work or treatment.
      ‘the bike is sturdy enough to cope with bumpy tracks’
      • ‘Linings, on the other hand, must be strong and comfortable as well - strong to withstand the sturdy boots and comfortable to the riders senses.’
      • ‘Third, the stitching attaching the fabric to the ends of the spokes must be sturdy enough to stay in place after moderate use.’
      • ‘My only concern is whether the binding is sturdy enough to withstand the amount of use that this book is most likely to experience.’
      • ‘Nylon is sturdy enough to withstand outdoor rigors like sun and wind, but light enough to be free floating.’
      • ‘Many of these brick structures were built sturdy enough to withstand the reigns of terror by the Russian civil war, the Soviet regime, and the world war.’
      • ‘Fortunately, the pipe was sturdy enough as she knocked it against the hard clay, sending its splinters flew past her.’
      • ‘Almost any type of container can be used to start your seedlings in, as long as it can hold moisture and is sturdy enough to handle a wet potting mix.’
      • ‘It was a nice one, made from strong wood and thatch, sturdy enough to withstand an Avalon hurricane, even with its second story.’
      • ‘The boat had to be sturdy enough to withstand 40 days and nights of rain.’
      • ‘Their stems are sturdy enough that they should not need to be staked providing they are grown thickly among other plants for support.’
      • ‘Road bikes are fast on the road, but not sturdy enough for off-road riding.’
      • ‘Both sides of this versatile trellis are used, and it can be made sturdy enough to support heavy crops such as gourds and pumpkins.’
      • ‘The pieces are sturdy, strong and simultaneously moving.’
      • ‘Ray climbed down the hole, grabbing onto whatever she could find that was sturdy enough to support her weight.’
      • ‘First of all, he used foam board, which is sturdy enough to withstand meddling gravity.’
      • ‘The structure is also sturdy enough to serve as long-term housing.’
      • ‘The woven strands of the cord were strong and sturdy enough to keep hold without breaking in the quiet forest where there were no people.’
      • ‘It was sturdy enough to carry an entire family, a substantial piece of furniture or a pig, strapped to the carrier on the back.’
      • ‘The shed, which contained the forge, was not a very well built structure, being made entirely of corrugated iron sheet, but it was sturdy enough for what it was used for.’
      • ‘Most of the planks had gaping holes in them or were completely gone, but the two main beams running from bank to bank looked sturdy enough to walk on.’
      robust, strong, strongly made, well built, well made, solid, substantial, stout, sound, serviceable, stable
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    2. 1.2 Showing confidence and determination.
      ‘the townspeople have a sturdy independence’
      • ‘Is this the party of enterprise, of self-help, of sturdy independence?’
      • ‘The county had a reputation for sturdy independency.’
      • ‘Because of her sturdy intellectual independence and integrity, Ravitch exempts no sect, ideology, or school from failure and folly.’
      • ‘Far from old heads themselves, they defend from the front but are blessed with a sturdy and determined back line that is as resolute as it is brave.’
      • ‘In my case it was Barnacarroll and there was no moaning about the walk just a sturdy determination to get on with it and be there for the great occasion.’
      • ‘His usual air of sturdy intelligent confidence crumbled and he backed away until brought up short by a palm tree.’
      • ‘Here, at last, is a movie which celebrates the power and fortitude of the Grandmother, in this case that most sturdy exemplar of the breed, the Determined French Peasant.’
      vigorous, strong, stalwart, firm, determined, resolute, tenacious, staunch, steadfast, unyielding, unwavering, uncompromising
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  • Vertigo in sheep caused by a tapeworm larva encysted in the brain.


Middle English (in the senses ‘reckless, violent’ and ‘intractable, obstinate’): shortening of Old French esturdi ‘stunned, dazed’. The derivation remains obscure; thought by some to be based on Latin turdus ‘a thrush’ (compare with the French phrase soûl comme une grive ‘drunk as a thrush’).