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 stain (audio) \ adjective
stainer \ ˈstā-​nər How to pronounce stain (audio) \ noun

Noun

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

Synonyms for stain

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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 Pre-soak the garment in a mixture of cold water and laundry detergent or stain remover like Carbona Oxy Powered Laundry Soaker. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Blood Out of Clothes Fast, Whether It's a Fresh or Dried Stain," 22 Jan. 2021 Keller’s mere presence in the mob could permanently stain his significant accomplishments. Sean Gregory, Time, "Why Olympic Swimmer Klete Keller, Arrested for Allegedly Invading the Capitol, Probably Won't Lose His Olympic Medals," 14 Jan. 2021 Keep an eye on the weather, and the steelhead trout: While rainy weather could stain the waters of the Northeastern Ohio steelhead trout rivers and streams in the coming days, the steelheading has been very good lately. cleveland, "Holiday weather will tempt walleye anglers: NE Ohio fishing report for weekend of Nov. 27-29," 26 Nov. 2020 Though other suffragists voiced concern that the protest criticizing President Woodrow Wilson could stain the entire movement as unpatriotic, that did not deter the most resolute picketers. Alli Hartley-kong, Smithsonian Magazine, "Radical Protests Propelled the Suffrage Movement. Here’s How a New Museum Captures That History," 26 Oct. 2020 In the YouTube star Maangchi’s kitchen, the cookbook author and former gamer uses instant hazelnut coffee to flavor her pork and to stain it a gorgeous ocher. Washington Post, "Bo ssäm nirvana is within reach, and it starts with your Instant Pot," 28 Oct. 2020 To be sure, a big reveal in the finale could disrupt and stain the Frasers’ lives forever. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "On TV, Having Wealth Means You Get to Suffer Beautifully," 27 Oct. 2020 The American Revolution is often cited as a rare success, but that ignores our original sin of slavery, which would result in the deaths of 750,000 soldiers in the Civil War and stain our republic in perpetuity. Kevin Baker, Harper's Magazine, "You Say You Want a Revolution," 27 Oct. 2020 The park can be said to have been officially broken in, as trash has already been deposited in the pit toilets and bloody fish guts already stain the pier deck. Steve Rubenstein, SFChronicle.com, "New East Bay shoreline park and pier opens with accessible fishing and unusual views," 25 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the cellphone video, which doesn’t capture the initial encounter, Quinto appears unresponsive as police flip him over onto his left side, revealing blood smeared on his mouth and a blood stain on the floor. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, "A mentally ill man died in Antioch police custody. Now his family is seeking answers," 18 Feb. 2021 But Gonzalez-Garcia’s case provides a window into the immense challenges as Biden administration officials try to reverse the legacy of what many call a stain on the nation’s history. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "One mother’s quest captures the challenges as Biden seeks to reunite separated migrant families," 6 Feb. 2021 The savvy among us will have already a few work-arounds (go for a stain instead of a gloss, pat down color with a tissue pre-mask, etc), but 2021 will bring enough new stay-in-place lip shades for all of us to find our comfort zone. April Long, Town & Country, "The Biggest Beauty Trends for 2021," 21 Jan. 2021 But Wednesday's unique second impeachment vote already ensures that for as long as the American republic survives, Trump's name will be accompanied by a historic stain. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Washington's agony is a win for autocrats and strongmen," 14 Jan. 2021 One woman had a stain running around the walls from sewage that had flooded her house; another had been forced to take out a loan to remove her carpet. Alexis Okeowo, The New Yorker, "The Heavy Toll of the Black Belt’s Wastewater Crisis," 23 Nov. 2020 Pretreat with a stain remover product, and wash as usual. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "How to Wash a Weighted Blanket," 19 Nov. 2020 Every one of those nominees Schumer encourages his caucus to support is a point against him with the left, a stain that will not be forgotten when his term is up in 2022. Sam Adler-bell, The New Republic, "The Brewing Democratic Fight Over Biden’s Cabinet," 15 Nov. 2020 Apply the cleaner to a cloth and blot the stain carefully, working from the outside in. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "How to Properly Clean and Sanitize a Couch at Home (With or Without a Steam Cleaner)," 25 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for stain

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for stain

Last Updated

31 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stain. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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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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