Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.
To crush or cause something to cave in; to smash through something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "stave" and "in." He staved in the crate with a large rock to access the supplies inside. We'll have to stave the door in if we want to get inside.
stave something in
to crush something in. (The past tense is usually stove with ships, and otherwise, staved.) The rocks on the reef staved the hull of the ship in. The angry sailor staved in the cask of rum.
To break or smash a hole in something: The firefighters staved the door in. I staved in the barrel with an axe.