The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Stay \Stay\ (st[=a]), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Stayed (st[=a]d) or
Staid (st[=a]d); p. pr. & vb. n. Staying.] [OF. estayer,
F. ['e]tayer to prop, fr. OF. estai, F. ['e]tai, a prop,
probably fr. OD. stade, staeye, a prop, akin to E. stead; or
cf. stay a rope to support a mast. Cf. Staid, a., Stay,
1. To stop from motion or falling; to prop; to fix firmly; to
hold up; to support.
Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the
one side, and the other on the other side. --Ex.
Sallows and reeds . . . for vineyards useful found
To stay thy vines. --Dryden.
2. To support from sinking; to sustain with strength; to
satisfy in part or for the time.
He has devoured a whole loaf of bread and butter,
and it has not staid his stomach for a minute. --Sir
3. To bear up under; to endure; to support; to resist
She will not stay the siege of loving terms,
Nor bide the encounter of assailing eyes. --Shak.
4. To hold from proceeding; to withhold; to restrain; to
stop; to hold.
Him backward overthrew and down him stayed
With their rude hands and grisly grapplement.
All that may stay their minds from thinking that
true which they heartily wish were false. --Hooker.
5. To hinder; to delay; to detain; to keep back.
Your ships are stayed at Venice. --Shak.
This business staid me in London almost a week.
I was willing to stay my reader on an argument that
appeared to me new. --Locke.
6. To remain for the purpose of; to wait for. "I stay dinner
7. To cause to cease; to put an end to.
Stay your strife. --Shak.
For flattering planets seemed to say
This child should ills of ages stay. --Emerson.
8. (Engin.) To fasten or secure with stays; as, to stay a
flat sheet in a steam boiler.
9. (Naut.) To tack, as a vessel, so that the other side of
the vessel shall be presented to the wind.
To stay a mast (Naut.), to incline it forward or aft, or to
one side, by the stays and backstays.