July 31, 2017
stalwart (adjective)
\STAWL-wert\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: marked by outstanding strength and vigor of mind, body, or spirit
How do you use it?
"I can remember Miss Temple walking lightly and rapidly along our drooping line, her plaid cloak, which the frosty wind fluttered, gathered close about her, and encouraging us, by precept and example, to keep up our spirits, and march forward, as she said, ‘like stalwart soldiers.'" (Charlotte Bronte, _Jane Eyre_)
Are you a word wiz?

Let's see how well you understand what "stalwart" means. Which of the following sentences do you think uses the word correctly?

"Stalwart" makes sense in sentence B, and it has some synonyms that could also do the job quite well. The simplest of these is "strong," which often implies the power of muscles, as in "strong arms"—or, to use a phrase from our example sentence, "strong workers." "Stout" is another synonym, and since "stout" suggests an ability to endure stress or pain, talking about "stout workers" would be perfectly reasonable. "Sturdy" is another synonym of "stalwart," and although it's more often used to describe objects that are strong (as in "a sturdy table"), the phrase "sturdy workers" is not a misuse. "Stalwart" is unique, though, in suggesting an unshakeable dependability—so we'll take "stalwart workers" over the others any day.
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