stain

verb
\ ˈstān How to pronounce stain (audio) \
stained; staining; stains

Definition of stain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to suffuse with color
2 : discolor, soil
3a : taint sense 3 a conscience stained with guilt
b : to bring discredit on the scandal stained his reputation
4 : to color (something, such as wood, glass, or cloth) by processes affecting chemically or otherwise the material itself

intransitive verb

: to receive a stain

stain

noun

Definition of stain (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a soiled or discolored spot
b : a natural spot of color contrasting with the ground
2 : a taint of guilt : stigma
3 : a preparation (as of dye or pigment) used in staining: such as
a : a dye or pigment capable of penetrating the pores of wood
b : a dye or mixture of dyes used in microscopy to make visible minute and transparent structures, to differentiate tissue elements, or to produce specific chemical reactions

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Other Words from stain

Verb

stainable \ ˈstā-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce stainable (audio) \ adjective
stainer \ ˈstā-​nər How to pronounce stainer (audio) \ noun

Noun

stainproof \ ˈstān-​ˌprüf How to pronounce stainproof (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for stain

Synonyms: Verb

blemish, darken, mar, poison, spoil, taint, tarnish, touch, vitiate

Synonyms: Noun

blot, brand, onus, slur, smirch, smudge, spot, stigma, taint

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Examples of stain in a Sentence

Verb

The red wine stained the carpet. He stained the wood a dark cherry color. The accusations stained his reputation.

Noun

There's a juice stain on the floor. She has a stain on her shirt. Will those grass stains wash out?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Issue: Dirt/Soap Scum When grout is stained with dirt or soap scum, scrub it with a stiff-bristle brush, hot water, and scouring powder, such as Comet or Bar Keepers Friend. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Clean Dirty Grout," 5 Dec. 2018 Clinton continued to deny it publicly, but independent counsel Ken Starr’s prosecutors amassed evidence including Lewinsky’s taped conversations, a blue dress stained with Clinton’s semen, and (eventually) Lewinsky’s cooperation. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "The drama over Trump answering Mueller’s questions, explained," 20 Nov. 2018 Then, brush the salt away and treat any residual staining with diluted dish soap or liquid laundry detergent, or a stain treatment product like Spray 'n Wash or Shout. Jolie Kerr, Town & Country, "How to Clean Table Linens," 10 Feb. 2017 His international reputation is stained by the killing of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Karen Elliott House, WSJ, "Where Is Crown Prince Mohammed?," 11 Feb. 2019 According to the Mayo Clinic, the enlarged papillae can trap and be stained by a number of things that would result in the discoloration, including bacteria, tobacco, and more. Bartie Scott, Teen Vogue, "Black Hairy Tongue Is a Real Medical Diagnosis," 7 Sep. 2018 Two parallel cactus needles, stained black, did the actual tattooing. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The United States' Oldest Tattoo Needle Is an Inked-Up Cactus Spine," 28 Feb. 2019 No one wants to move into a new-to-you house or apartment that has stained carpet. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "Here’s Your Ultimate Guide To Carpet Textures," 25 Jan. 2019 The night that once stained his career is barely a splotch now. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "LeBron James Has Another Decision. These Boys and Girls Won’t Be There.," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Blue mom jeans and a white tshirt with a small bolognese stain on the hem? Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "The Item I Wear to Death: My ASOS Oversized Leather Jacket," 6 Mar. 2019 The mini-reunion paid homage to the K-pop girl group's classic look with a rosy lip stain, flushed cheeks, and subtle-yet-shimmery eye shadow brushed along their lower lashes. Devon Abelman, Allure, "How to Get Tiffany Young's Stunning "Rosé Champagne" Makeup From Her New Music Video," 2 Oct. 2018 And when tension arises in a shop as orderly as Herrera, it is noted, like a stain on an otherwise impeccable white button-down. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Meet Wes Gordon, the Young Man Leading the Next Chapter of Carolina Herrera," 8 Aug. 2018 They have been used for more than 60 years and have become staples of modern life for consumers who want to protect their clothing from stains or water, and prevent food from sticking to cookware. Wayne Parry, The Seattle Times, "New Jersey orders cleanup of clothing, cookware chemicals," 26 Mar. 2019 Cloud keeps a scarf in her kit at all times, not for accessorizing, but to keep the garment makeup stain-free. Ana Colón, Glamour, "8 Red Carpet Fashion Hacks Celebrity Stylists Swear By," 18 Jan. 2019 Each one is graded to an incredibly high 62+ Rockwell hardness and guaranteed to be stain and rust resistant to last you a long time. Popular Mechanics, "These Laser-Sharp Japanese Knives Are a Kitchen Staple," 14 Mar. 2019 Beauty Bonus: Finish off this dreamy look with red lip stain and shiny pink nails. Alanna Greco, Seventeen, "Exactly What to Wear to Prom, According to Your Sign," 11 Mar. 2019 Use a scarf to avoid makeup stains—and for a satisfying reveal. Ana Colón, Glamour, "8 Red Carpet Fashion Hacks Celebrity Stylists Swear By," 18 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stain.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of stain

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1557, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for stain

Verb

Middle English steynen, partly from Anglo-French desteindre to take away the color from & partly of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse steina to paint — more at distain

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Statistics for stain

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stain

The first known use of stain was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for stain

stain

verb

English Language Learners Definition of stain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to leave a mark on something
: to be marked or damaged by a stain
: to use a special liquid to change the color of (something)

stain

noun

English Language Learners Definition of stain (Entry 2 of 2)

: a mark made on a surface, a piece of clothing, etc., that is very hard or impossible to remove
: a special liquid that is used to change the color of something (such as wood or cloth)
: something that causes people to have less respect for someone : something that damages a person's reputation

stain

verb
\ ˈstān How to pronounce stain (audio) \
stained; staining

Kids Definition of stain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to soil or discolor especially in spots
2 : to use something (as a dye) to change the color of I spent the weekend staining the deck.
3 : corrupt entry 1 sense 1 Her conscience was stained.
4 : disgrace entry 1 The scandal stained his reputation.

stain

noun

Kids Definition of stain (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : spot entry 1 sense 2, discoloration Will this stain wash out?
2 : a mark of guilt or disgrace : stigma
3 : something (as a dye) used in staining

Other Words from stain

stainless \ -​ləs \ adjective
\ ˈstān How to pronounce stain (audio) \

Medical Definition of stain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to cause discoloration of smoking stains teeth
2 : to color by processes affecting chemically or otherwise the material itself stain bacteria with a fluorescent dye

intransitive verb

: to receive a stain

stain

noun

Medical Definition of stain (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a discolored spot or area (as on the skin or teeth) — see port-wine stain
2 : a preparation (as of dye or pigment) used in staining something especially : a dye or mixture of dyes used in microscopy to make minute and transparent structures visible, to differentiate tissue elements, or to produce specific chemical reactions

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More from Merriam-Webster on stain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stain

Spanish Central: Translation of stain

Nglish: Translation of stain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about stain

Comments on stain

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