From Middle English sturdy, stourdy, stordy (perhaps influenced by Middle English sture, stoure, stor; see English stour), from Old French estourdi, form of estourdir, originally “to daze, to make tipsy (almost drunk)” (Modern French étourdir), from Vulgar Latin *exturdire. Latin etymology is unclear – presumably it is ex- + turdus, but how this should mean “daze” is unclear. A speculative theory is that thrushes eat leftover winery grapes and thus became drunk, but this meets with objections.
Disease in cows and sheep is by extension of sense of “daze”, while sense of “strongly built” is of late 14th century, and relationship to earlier sense is less clear, perhaps from sense of a firm strike (causing a daze) or a strong, violent person.
Modern English dictionary
Explore and search massive catalog of over 900,000 word meanings.
Word of the Day
Get a curated memorable word every day.
Level up your vocabulary by setting personal goals.