From King Dictionary of Contemporary Englishstaystay1 /steɪ/ ●●●S1W1 verb1in a place [intransitive]STAY/NOT LEAVE to remain in a place rather than leaveThey stayed all afternoon chatting.stay (at) homeI decided to stay home.stay for a year/ten minutes/a week etcIsabel stayed for a year in Paris to study.stay inStay in bed and drink plenty of liquids.She stayed late to finish the report.stay here/thereStay right there! I’ll be back in a minute.stay to dinner/stay for lunch etcWhy don’t you stay for supper?stay behind/afterSome of the students stayed after class (=remained after others had gone) to talk.stay and do somethingI 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.2in a condition [intransitive always + adverb/preposition, linking verb]CONTINUE/NOT STOP to continue to be in a particular position, place, or state, without changingSYN remainRollings will stay as chairman this year.stay adjEat right to stay healthy.It was hard to stay awake.Nine women gained weight, and four stayed the same.stay away/in/on etcStay away from my daughter!You stay on this road for a mile before turning off.stay aroundMost of her boyfriends don’t stay around (=stay with her) very long.GRAMMAR: Linking verbsStay 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.3live somewhere [intransitive]STAY WITH SB, IN A HOTEL ETC to live in a place for a short time as a visitor or guestHow long are they going to stay?stay at/withMy mother is staying with us this week.stay inThey’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 Corpus
stay• 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 stayedbehind after class to ask the teacher a few questions.• Let's just staycalm and try to figure out what to do.• It will staycold 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 travelagency offices normally closed on Saturdays will stay open if there is a strike.• The chocolate will staysoft 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 realcareer, 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 gainedweight 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 essencestayed 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 samesize.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 →stay
staystay2 ●●○S3 noun1[countable usually singular]STAY WITH SB, IN A HOTEL ETC a limited time of living in a placestay in/atI met her towards the end of my stay in Los Angeles.long/short/overnight etc staya 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 shirtcollarstiffCOLLOCATIONSADJECTIVES/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.