Pronunciation: (stāv),[key] —n., v.,staved or stove, stav•ing.
—n. 1. one of the thin, narrow, shaped pieces of wood that form the sides of a cask, tub, or similar vessel.
2. a stick, rod, pole, or the like.
3. a rung of a ladder, chair, etc.
4. Pros. a. a verse or stanza of a poem or song.
b. the alliterating sound in a line of verse, as the w-sound in wind in the willows. 5. Music.staff1 (def. 9).
—v.t. 1. to break in a stave or staves of (a cask or barrel) so as to release the wine, liquor, or other contents.
2. to release (wine, liquor, etc.) by breaking the cask or barrel.
3. to break or crush (something) inward (often fol. by in).
4. to break (a hole) in, esp. in the hull of a boat.
5. to break to pieces; splinter; smash.
6. to furnish with a stave or staves.
7. to beat with a stave or staff.
—v.i. 1. to become staved in, as a boat; break in or up.
2. to move along rapidly.
3. stave off, a. to put, ward, or keep off, as by force or evasion.
b. to prevent in time; forestall: He wasn't able to stave off bankruptcy.