From Middle English steyen, staien, from Old French estayer, estaier, from estaye, estaie, from Middle Dutch staeye ("a prop, stay"), a contracted form of staede, stade (compare Middle Dutch staeyen, staeden), from Frankish *stad ("a site, place, location, standing"), from Proto-Germanic *stadiz ("a standing, place"), from Proto-Indo-European *stéh₂tis ("standing"). Influenced by Old English stæġ . Cognate with Old English stede, stæde, Swedish stödja ("to prop, support, brace, hold up, bolster"), Icelandic stöðug ("continuous, stable"). More at stead, steady.
Sense of "remain, continue" may be due to later influence from Old French ester, esteir, from Latin stāre ("stand"), from the same Proto-Indo-European root above; however, derivation from this root is untenable based on linguistic and historical grounds.
An alternative etymology derives Old French estaye, estaie, from Frankish *staku, from Proto-Germanic *stakô ("stake, bar, stick, pole"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)teg- ("rod, pole, stick"), making it cognate with Old English staca ("pin, stake"), Old English stician ("to stick, be placed, lie, remain fixed"). Cognate with Albanian shtagë. More at stake, stick.
, from Old Dutch *stad ("a site, place, location, standing"), from Proto-Germanic *stadiz ("a standing, place"), from Proto-Indo-European *steh₂- ("to stand"). See above.
From Middle English stay, from Old English stæġ, from Proto-Germanic *stagą, from Proto-Indo-European *stek-, *stāk-, from Proto-Indo-European *steh₂-. Cognate with Dutch stag, German Stag, Swedish stag, Icelandic stag.
From Middle English *steȝe, from Old English *stǣġe, an apocopated variant of stǣġel, from Proto-Germanic *staigilaz ("climbing, ascending, sloping, steep"), see sty.
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