To be stately is to appear noble and impressive, almost in a larger than life kind of way. You may encounter a stately gentleman or a stately statue. If you do, take a little bow.

There are a few meanings of stately, but they both refer to people and things that have an impressive bearing. The first meaning has to do with nobility and class. A ceremony honoring a prince is stately, and the music and dress surrounding such events are stately. Stately things convey sophistication and regality. Also, stately can mean statuesque. Someone with great posture and an impressive physique is stately, almost as if they were made by a sculptor.

Definitions of stately
  1. adjective
    impressive in appearance
    stately columns”
    synonyms: baronial, imposing, noble
    making a strong or vivid impression
  2. adjective
    of size and dignity suggestive of a statue
    synonyms: statuesque
    great in vertical dimension; high in stature
  3. adjective
    refined or imposing in manner or appearance; befitting a royal court
    synonyms: courtly, formal
    having or expressing dignity; especially formality or stateliness in bearing or appearance
Word Family

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