As an adjective, staunch means firm. You might want to go to that concert Friday night, but your parents' staunch opposition prevents you.

Staunch is sometimes used as a verb to mean "to stop the flow of a liquid," but most usage books will tell you it's better to use the word stanch for the verb. Think of a soldier stopping and standing still, and you will understand the connection between the two meanings. The adjectival form should make you think of "stand," as in “stand firm,” or "take a stand." It comes from the French estanche meaning “watertight” and the Latin stanticare, which is probably from stans for “stand.”

Definitions of staunch
  1. adjective
    firm and dependable especially in loyalty
    “a staunch defender of free speech”
    synonyms: steadfast, unswerving
    steadfast in purpose or devotion or affection
  2. verb
    stop the flow of a liquid
    staunch the blood flow”
    synonyms: halt, stanch, stem
    see moresee less
    type of:
    arrest the motion (of something) abruptly
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week