From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishstaystay1 /steɪ/ ●●● S1 W1 verb 1 in a place [intransitive]STAY/NOT LEAVE to remain in a place rather than leave They stayed all afternoon chatting.stay (at) home I decided to stay home.stay for a year/ten minutes/a week etc Isabel stayed for a year in Paris to study.stay in Stay in bed and drink plenty of liquids. She stayed late to finish the report.stay here/there Stay right there! I’ll be back in a minute.stay to dinner/stay for lunch etc Why don’t you stay for supper?stay behind/after Some of the students stayed after class (=remained after others had gone) to talk.stay and do something I should stay and help.RegisterIn written English, people often prefer to use remain rather than stay, because it sounds more formal:Many people opted to remain in their homes.She remained as his deputy for ten years.2 in a condition [intransitive always + adverb/preposition, linking verb]CONTINUE/NOT STOP to continue to be in a particular position, place, or state, without changing SYN remain Rollings will stay as chairman this year.stay adj Eat right to stay healthy. It was hard to stay awake. Nine women gained weight, and four stayed the same.stay away/in/on etc Stay away from my daughter! You stay on this road for a mile before turning off.stay around Most of her boyfriends don’t stay around (=stay with her) very long.Stay is a linking verb in this meaning. This type of verb links the subject of the sentence with an adjective or noun: They’re just trying to stay alive.I hope we can stay friends.3 live somewhere [intransitive]STAY WITH SB, IN A HOTEL ETC to live in a place for a short time as a visitor or guest How long are they going to stay?stay at/with My mother is staying with us this week.stay in They’re staying in the same hotel.stay the night/stay overnight/stay over (=stay from one evening to the next day) Did you stay the night at Carolyn’s?4 → stay put5 → be here to stay6 → stay after (school)7 → stay the course8 → stay tuned9 → stay!10 → stay somebody’s hand11 → stay an order/ruling/execution etcTHESAURUSstay to not leave a place, or to be in a place for a particular period of timeStay where you are and don’t move.John only stayed at the party for a couple of hours.remain formal to stay somewhere. In written English, people often prefer to use remain rather than stay, because it sounds more formalSome 2,000 protesters remained outside the building and refused to leave.The judge recommended that he remain in jail for the rest of his life.linger to stay in a place a little longer than you need to, because you are enjoying yourself, or because you hope to see someone or somethingHe lingered outside the lecture hall, hoping for a chance to talk to her.There are plenty of small cafés where you can linger over a cappuccino.loiter to stay in a place not doing anything – used when you think someone is waiting for the chance to do something bad or illegalThe two men had been seen loitering in the area on the day that the car was stolen. hang around informal to stay somewhere not doing anythingThere are gangs of boys hanging around on street corners.I don’t mind hanging around for a few minutes.The boss doesn’t like being kept hanging around.stick around informal to stay in the same place or situation for a period of time, especially while you are waiting for something to happen or someone to arriveI decided to stick around and see how it all turned out.Make up your mind. I’m not going to stick around forever. → stay in → stay on → stay out → stay up→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusstay• How long are you staying?• I say it's a trick to persuade him to stay.• Lobbies were unheated and so if you hung your coat up wet then wet it stayed.• Are you sure you can't stay a little longer?• I was having such a good time in Paris that I phoned my mother to say I was staying another week.• I stayed at my brother's house for a couple of weeks.• John only stayed at the party for a couple of hours.• I've stayed at the same company for seven years, and I'd like to stick around for a while longer.• He often told Lennie to stay away from Curley and his wife.• He stayed behind after class to ask the teacher a few questions.• Let's just stay calm and try to figure out what to do.• It will stay cold for the next few days.• Are you staying for a drink, or do you have to go?• However, Lucy managed to convey that she intended to stay for several days, or perhaps for even a week.• After what she said, I don't think we can stay friends.• I'm coming too. I'm not staying here on my own.• Do you think she'd stay if we offered her a raise?• Alice has never stayed in the same job for more than a year.• Don't go so soon -- can't you stay just a little longer?• She is staying on campus for a while longer.• Got one up on Jackson Hill and the other one stay on Lombard Street.• Some travel agency offices normally closed on Saturdays will stay open if there is a strike.• The chocolate will stay soft for hours after baking but will eventually harden again into chips.• Is it all right if I stay the night?• Are you staying to watch the game?• I didn't want to stay with Jordan's all my life -- I wanted a real career, one with a future.• He stayed with the baby until she fell asleep.• He stayed with the company for over thirty years.stay in• I've got to stay in and look after my sister on Friday night.stayed the same• Sixteen people lost an insignificant amount, and nine others gained weight or stayed the same.• The location has stayed the same.• I've stayed the same as I was before but now it's all right to be what I was before.• Its essence stayed the same but now there was something new in its texture, and it became clearer as it approached.• One of the tricks of this war was that nothing ever stayed the same, he thought.• Even if the price stayed the same, he would buy and eat more.• It might have been a tail light going the other way but it stayed the same size.stay at/with• So the prospect of her stay at Balmoral loomed large in Diana's mind.• So she demands that you stay with her for the night.• Jazz's target was to stay with him for the full four minutes.• Can those who stayed at home achieve as much?• He always liked staying at the Carlton.• He stayed at the deanery and talked far into the night about the needs of Durham and its diocese.• I got out, Kaiser stayed with the ship.• Patrick stayed with them until Doctor Stevie's match came along.• You're welcome to stay with us till you find a place of your own.stay!stay!DHPNOT MOVINGused to tell a dog not to move → staystaystay2 ●●○ S3 noun 1 [countable usually singular]STAY WITH SB, IN A HOTEL ETC a limited time of living in a placestay in/at I met her towards the end of my stay in Los Angeles.long/short/overnight etc stay a short stay in the hospital2 [countable, uncountable] lawSCL the stopping or delay of an action because a judge has ordered itstay of execution (=a delay in punishing someone by killing them)3 [countable]TTW a strong wire or rope used for supporting a ship’s mast4 [countable]DCC a short piece of plastic or wire used to keep a shirt collar stiffCOLLOCATIONSADJECTIVES/NOUN + staya long stayDuring his long stay in the south, he painted only one portrait.a short/brief stayNo visa is required for short stays.an overnight stayBusiness trips may involve an overnight stay.a pleasant/enjoyable stayOur driver said goodbye and wished us a pleasant stay.a hospital stay (also a stay in hospital British English, a stay in the hospital American English)Sally is back at work after a short stay in hospital.verbshave a nice/pleasant etc stayWe hope you have a pleasant stay.extend/prolong your stay (=stay longer)He could not be persuaded to extend his stay.
Examples from the Corpusstay• In psychiatric hospitals, the countywide average stay has plummeted from 22 days five years ago to 13 days now.• Their average stay in a corps was only two years.• In short, they have done everything in their power to ensure a comfortable corporate stay in the city.• Cash was treated for pneumonia during a two-week hospital stay in October 1999.• The four inside stays are now being assembled, two are complete and the other two are well advanced.• I met her during my stay in Venice.• The length of stay and conditions have been cited as key factors behind a recent surge in violence, escapes and riots.• a short stay in the hospital• The stay at Oxford spoiled me, I guess.• So how was the rest of your stay?stay in/at• He stayed in hospital for three-and-a-half weeks, and then spent several more convalescing in the country.• I have been off for a while, but I stayed in shape while I was away.• Two troops deployed nearby to the west, awaiting a short stay at camp.• Now let them stay in their territory.• They may have to save before they marry, and both may need to stay in work for as long as possible.• What happens if her father is unwilling or unable to stay at home with her?• Bardot took the overdose on Saturday while staying at her villa near St Tropez with Bernard and friends.• And he can not do this while staying in the same inertial frame.stay of execution• In the event a stay of execution was granted on March 6.• Consequently, she feels she must work for a stay of execution.• Sceptics suggest the Minitel's relaunch is little more than a stay of execution.• Her batting average there: five stays of execution, one commuted to life in prison, and two men freed completely.• There will be no stay of execution and few mourners for this spoiled concrete child of the Sixties.• The stay of execution was intelligent politics.Origin stay1 (1400-1500) Old French ester “to stand, stay”, from Latin stare