stain

1 of 2

verb

stained; staining; stains

transitive verb

1
: to suffuse with color
2
3
a
: 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
stainable adjective
stainer noun

stain

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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
stainproof adjective

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? See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
However, even proprietary stainless steels can stain, especially if any cheaper steel fittings beneath the Cybertruck's panels react with the stainless product. Carlton Reid, WIRED, 16 Feb. 2024 The dressing will also keep any fluid from staining your clothes, Dr. Chadha adds. Sarah Klein, SELF, 15 Feb. 2024 Brazilian court bars Bolsonaro from running for office For months before the election, Bolsonaro and his top allies made unsubstantiated allegations in public and on social media that the Brazilian electoral system had been stained by fraud and could no longer be trusted. Marina Dias, Washington Post, 8 Feb. 2024 However, our nails were deeply stained after removal and needed buffing to remove the color. Addie Morton, Southern Living, 6 Feb. 2024 After three pre-show wins, Dacus shared a photo of herself post-cry, with mascara staining her face. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 5 Feb. 2024 Frank says wood requires maintenance like staining or painting every few years and is likely to peel in between. Adrienne Jordan, Better Homes & Gardens, 3 Feb. 2024 Its colorless formula doesn’t transfer or stain even the whitest of bed sheets. Alyssa Brascia, Peoplemag, 30 Jan. 2024 Grace has been playing this ode to her Adidas outerwear live for years now; the OG hoodie is long-retired, Grace says, ripped and stained after dozens of shows. Brenna Ehrlich, Rolling Stone, 24 Jan. 2024
Noun
Custom wood stains are used throughout the house’s living spaces. David Caraccio, Sacramento Bee, 21 Feb. 2024 In stains of pink and black and quivering images that unravel and reassemble across generations, Kantor taps into a young person’s anguish and awakening. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2024 What’s Great About It The navy blue hides makeup stains. Moriah Mason, Southern Living, 12 Feb. 2024 Tackle any repairs, add a fresh coat of protective stain, and install any necessary gopher wire beneath the soil line before transplanting late winter and spring seedings. Kristin Guy, Sunset Magazine, 6 Feb. 2024 Using water on one of these fabrics could actually create new or worse stains. Helen Carefoot, Washington Post, 1 Feb. 2024 And since the placemats are made of 100 percent cotton, they can be tossed in the washing machine to remove spills and stains. Lauren Taylor, Southern Living, 8 Feb. 2024 The best way to clean your backpack would be to follow all of the manufacturer's instructions, which usually includes using a warm, soapy cloth to dab at stains. Chris Abell, Travel + Leisure, 5 Feb. 2024 Just put some on the coarse side of a damp sponge and gently scrub the stains on the tub. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 4 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stain.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1557, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near stain

Cite this Entry

“Stain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stain. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

stain

1 of 2 verb
1
: to soil or discolor especially in spots
2
: to give color to (as by dyeing) : tinge
3
a
: corrupt entry 1 sense 1
a fine mind stained by jealousy
b
: disgrace entry 1
the scandal stained his reputation
stainer noun

stain

2 of 2 noun
1
: a soiled or discolored spot
2
: a mark of guilt or disgrace
bore the stain of their father's crime
3
: something (as a dye) used in staining: 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 very small and transparent structures visible, to color tissue elements so that they can be told apart, and to produce specific chemical reactions
stainless
ˈstān-ləs
adjective

Medical Definition

stain

1 of 2 transitive verb
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

2 of 2 noun
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

More from Merriam-Webster on stain

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