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
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 There, the topsoil is gone completely in some spots, washed down to the white rock and stained with oil. National Geographic, "Logging is corrupting these islands. One village fights back—and wins.," 3 Jan. 2020 Her hands, stained with Indian ink, are rarely still. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, "The Reinvention of Little Women," 1 Jan. 2020 Wins have rarely been convincing and the team’s resume is already stained with losses to Evansville and Utah, two teams ranked outside the top 100 by advanced metrics website KenPom.com. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "What's more important than bragging rights over U of L? Kentucky's chance for resume boost," 27 Dec. 2019 Authorities allege both the carpeting and the padding underneath it were stained with blood. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "Before She Was Killed, Mo. Woman Searched 'What to Do If Your Husband Is Upset You Are Pregnant'," 6 Dec. 2019 Authorities believe the killer or killers caused the catastrophic head injuries by swinging a frozen tree limb that was found nearby and stained with blood. Kori Rumore, chicagotribune.com, "The March 1960 Starved Rock murders and convicted killer Chester Weger's parole attempts," 21 Nov. 2019 Cremation produces carcinogenic ash; regular coffins are stained with non-biodegradable finishes—no, thank you. Sam Corbin, The New Yorker, "New Plant-Based Alternatives," 14 Nov. 2019 Rapid River’s design was typical: a series of twelve long cement pens, all of which were stained with black mold and topped with rusting walkways. Patrick Symmes, Harper's magazine, "The $68,000 Fish," 28 Oct. 2019 Pizza boxes stained with grease, for example, won’t cut it. Emily Chasan, Los Angeles Times, "Can U.S. consumers save paper recycling, one straw or TV dinner tray at a time?," 20 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Optional carbon-ceramic brakes keep you from leaving sweat stains on your shirt and stopped our Racing Yellow bar of soap from 70 mph in 140 feet. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, "Testing Porsche's New 911 in Germany," 15 Jan. 2020 How to clean leather with nail polish remover: This option works especially well for ink stains. Natalie Schumann, Country Living, "Here's How To Clean Leather, Whether it's a Couch, a Purse, or Something Else," 10 Jan. 2020 The chemicals have been used since the 1950s to create non-stick, stain-resistant or waterproof coatings on cookware, carpets, clothing and other consumer products. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, "The top Alabama environmental stories of 2019," 31 Dec. 2019 Among the most classic Ugg silhouettes, this boot features a suede exterior that's been pretreated to be water and stain repellant, and sheepskin lining that provides maximum softness and comfort. Rachel Lubitz, CNN Underscored, "Zappos and Ugg teamed up to create the ultimate holiday shoe collection," 25 Nov. 2019 Victoria Shepersky wrote in a note to the district that, at most, ceiling tiles that showed water stains from September’s leaks should be replaced. oregonlive, "Beaverton school closed due to roof leaks on track to open the first week of November," 25 Oct. 2019 The perfectly crisp weather means there will be no sweat stains to worry about, and the color white will look smashing with a backdrop of autumn leaves. Anny Choi, Vogue, "15 Chic Suiting Options to Consider for Your Wedding," 22 Oct. 2019 On most nights, the bright lights of the capital city Honolulu stain Molokai’s sky yellow to the west, while those of Maui’s Kaʻanapali coast do so to the east. Wade Graham, Smithsonian, "Why Molokai, With All Its Wonders, Is the Least Developed of Hawai’i’s Islands," 31 Aug. 2019 Seven years later began the decades-long exclusion of Maori players from All Black tours to apartheid-era South Africa, New Zealand rugby’s greatest stain. C.h., The Economist, "Why New Zealand’s other All Blacks matter," 18 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stain

Time Traveler for stain

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for stain

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stain.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stain. Accessed 25 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stain

stain

verb
How to pronounce stain (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on stain

What made you want to look up stain? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

dull or mediocre

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!