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

Lightly sand the shelf, then paint or stain it, as desired. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "Three Ways to Build Your Own Shelves," 24 Jan. 2019 To be sure, defendants who admit guilt are stained with criminal convictions, may forego liberties including the right to vote, put their jobs and reputation at risk — and can still wind up with tough sentences. Bloomberg.com, "Mueller's Russia Probe Shows It Pays to Cooperate," 5 Apr. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Poor the undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle to apply to the area, or just go for it and pour that vinegar right onto the mold stains. Cate Geiger, Country Living, "How to Get Rid of Black Mold Naturally," 23 May 2019 The Food and Drug Administration found substantial levels of a worrisome class of nonstick, stain-resistant industrial compounds in some grocery store meats and seafood and in off-the-shelf chocolate cake, according to FDA researchers. Ellen Knickmeyer, John Flesher And Michael Casey, Detroit Free Press, "FDA: Sampling finds toxic nonstick PFAS compounds in some food," 18 Apr. 2019 To finish up Palvin's glam, Quinn used his finger to apply the velvety-soft Lip Maestro stain in 511 to her lips. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Watch Barbara Palvin Get Ready For The 2019 Oscars," 2 Mar. 2019 And a matte wax-oil finish provides waterproof and stain-resistant durability, ensuring your terrazzo trendsetter becomes a timeless treasure. Jennifer Fernandez, House Beautiful, "This Company Is Making Gorgeous Terrazzo Furnishings Out Of Recycled Marble," 11 Dec. 2018 Many of these contaminants find their way into our bodies via household items (the non-stick surface of frying pans; the stain resistant treatment on the sofa; the plastic wrap on your lunchtime salad). Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "The All-Women Sailing Crew Trying to Save the Ocean of Plastic," 27 Nov. 2018 Tide, for example, created a popular voice skill that explains how to get different stains out of different fabrics. Rani Molla, Recode, "Voice tech like Alexa and Siri hasn’t found its true calling yet: Inside the voice assistant ‘revolution’," 12 Nov. 2018 Police found blood stains and a butter knife on the bed. Joseph A. Gambardello, Philly.com, "Montco man charged with killing father in gruesome attack," 5 Apr. 2018 Um, what? Boric acid is a white powder available at hardware stores that can do everything from get stains out of your clothes to deodorize your fridge to kill pesky roaches crawling around your kitchen. Jazmine Polk, Health.com, "Women Are Using Roach Poison to Treat Chronic Bacterial Vaginosis. Here's What Ob-Gyns Say," 6 Feb. 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

10 Jun 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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