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  Dictionary Definition of stave

noun, verb, staved or stove, staving.

-- noun
1. one of the thin, narrow, shaped pieces of wood which 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. Prosody a. a verse or stanza of a poem or song. b. the alliterating sound in a line of verse, thus, w is the stave in the way of the wind.
5. Also, staff. Music a set of horizontal lines, now five in number, with the corresponding four spaces between them, music being written on both the lines and spaces.
-- verb (t)
6. to break in a stave or staves of.
7. to break (a hole) in a boat, etc.
8. to break to pieces, splinters, etc.
9. to furnish with a stave or staves.
10. to beat with a stave or staff.
-- verb (i)
11. to become staved in, as a boat; break in or up.
-- phrase
12. stave in, to break a hole in; crush inwards.
13. stave off, to put, ward, or keep off, as by force or evasion.
[ME; backformation from STAVES, plural of STAFF1 ]