stain

verb
\ ˈstān \
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 \ adjective
stainer \ˈstā-nər \ noun

Noun

stainproof \ˈstān-ˌprüf \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for stain

Synonyms: Verb

befoul, begrime, bemire, besmirch, blacken, daub, dirty, foul, grime, mire, muck, muddy, smirch, smudge, soil, sully

Synonyms: Noun

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

Antonyms: Verb

clean, cleanse

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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 legacy of that tournament, also, has been stained by charges of government corruption. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Casting a wary eye toward World Cup host Russia," 6 July 2018 At meal’s end, there is falooda, a tall drink with Persian roots, milk stained pink by rose syrup. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "Burmese Cuisine, a New York Rarity, at Rangoon Spoon," 24 May 2018 Its regal white walls have been stained brown and green by insects and pollution, and the country’s Supreme Court is urging the government to do more to protect one of the world’s most famous buildings. Eli Meixler, Time, "The Taj Mahal Is Changing Color. That Has India's Highest Court Concerned," 3 May 2018 The idea for the company came from Cyndi Sladics, the family matriarch, who spent 31 years as a dental hygienist and recommended straws to patients with sensitive teeth and staining worries. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "Why I Use a Glass Straw," 17 May 2018 But as things stabilized, especially as Rome conquered key mining areas in Northern Spain around 16 BCE, Europe began pumping out steadily high amounts of lead that stained the distant ice. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Greenland ice cores track Roman lead pollution in year-by-year detail," 15 May 2018 And then there is the indelible ink, designed to stain voters’ fingers for a week to identify those who have already cast their ballots. The Economist, "Tilting the playing fieldHow Malaysia’s next election will be rigged," 8 Mar. 2018 But that's totally not true, because overusing detergent will leave soap residue behind, and that can make the shoes stiff and even lead to staining. Jolie Kerr, Esquire, "Yes, You Can Machine Wash Your Sneakers," 12 Aug. 2016 His shirt was open at the collar and stained with deep, dark red along his ribs. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The geopolitics of the afterlife get messy in the new sci-fi spy novel Summerland," 17 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Even the stain of Euro 2016 has been somewhat washed away, as more than half the roster has turned over. Brian Straus, SI.com, "England's New Three Lions Appear to Be a Different Animal at This World Cup," 24 June 2018 Made of super absorbent and lightweight high-tech fabrics, these anti-bacterial, stain-resistant, and fast-drying towels fold into an easy-to-carry packet the size of a small clutch purse. Necee Regis, BostonGlobe.com, "Here, there, and everywhere," 29 May 2018 Volunteers are painting another room bright yellow to cover the water stains on the walls. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, "Months after Maria, Puerto Ricans take recovery into their own hands," 7 May 2018 The most popular choice for countertops in classic white kitchens is Carrara marble with gray veins, but keeping the stone stain-free requires extra attention and work. Amanda Smith, ELLE Decor, "16 Accents and Finishes for a Timeless Kitchen," 17 Apr. 2018 The stain, made of real blood, covered several feet of wall and floor. Cortlynn Stark, kansascity, "Instead of watching Netflix, KC kids dust for fingerprints at police academy," 9 July 2018 Stick to black and neutrals, for easier mixing and matching — and better hiding of stains. Jada Yuan, New York Times, "How Do You Pack for a Yearlong Trip?," 27 June 2018 Neuronal structures became visible through a staining process Golgi devised that enabled histologists to map cells; at first, the dendrite spines were thought to be a side effect of the stain. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "A different sort of scan in ‘The Beautiful Brain’," 6 June 2018 Haspel’s confirmation hearing Wednesday will be her chance to clear her name — or at least explain some of the darkest stains on it. Jennifer Williams, Vox, "Gina Haspel, Trump’s controversial pick for CIA director, explained," 9 May 2018

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

16 Sep 2018

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 \
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 \

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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to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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