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stead   WordNet 2.0

- the function or position properly or customarily occupied or served by another
"can you go in my stead?"
"took his place"
"in lieu of"

 
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Stead   Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

1. Place, or spot, in general. [Obs., except in composition.] Chaucer.

"Fly, therefore, fly this fearful stead anon." -- Spenser.

2. Place or room which another had, has, or might have. "Stewards of your steads." Piers Plowman.

"In stead of bounds, he a pillar set." -- Chaucer.

3. A frame on which a bed is laid; a bedstead. [R.]

"The genial bed, Sallow the feet, the borders, and the stead." -- Dryden.

4. A farmhouse and offices. [Prov. Eng. & Scot.]

[MORE]
The word is now commonly used as the last part of a compound; as, farmstead, homestead, readstead, etc.

In stead of
in place of. See Instead.

To stand in stead
or To do stead
to be of use or great advantage.

"The smallest act . . . shall stand us in great stead." -- Atterbury.

"Here thy sword can do thee little stead." -- Milton.

 
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1. To help; to support; to benefit; to assist.

"Perhaps my succour or advisement meet, Mote stead you much your purpose to subdue." -- Spenser.

"It nothing steads us To chide him from our eaves." -- Shak.

2. To fill place of. [Obs.] Shak.

 
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