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, distain [archaic], foul, gaum [dialect], grime, mire, muck, muddy, smirch, smudge, soil, sully

Synonyms: Noun

blot, brand, onus, 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

Pound, the legendary American poet, stained his reputation by advocating for Benito Mussolini, broadcasting fascist messages on Italian radio during World War II. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Is Kanye West “the Ezra Pound of Rap”?," 30 Apr. 2018 Each camper comes stained and unpainted, giving you a chance to customize the colors and extra details like flower beds, striped awnings, and mini grills. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "These mini vintage campers make adorable birdhouses," 27 Apr. 2018 By this time most of our clothes had picked up dust from the dirt roads around camp but De’Shaun came dusted in the kind of dull ache that stained the air around you. Sadia Hassan, Longreads, "Silence is a Lonely Country: A Prayer in Twelve Parts," 13 July 2018 Families had no water and power, and spoke of squatters and gangs taking over, of gunshots and the blood of a dead boy staining the pavement. Joshua Sharpe, ajc, "Good things coming for notorious, crime-infested DeKalb complex?," 7 July 2018 Residents have reported rashes and stained clothing. Ruben Vives, latimes.com, "Abolishing a water district isn't easy — even when it's accused of nepotism, mismanagement and delivering brown water," 7 July 2018 At the time, Last 2 Walk’s relative lack of commercial and critical success seemed like the kind of flop that would stain, if not undo, an artist’s legacy. Patrick Lyons, Billboard, "10 Years Ago, Three 6 Mafia's 'Last 2 Walk' Almost Ruined Their Legacy," 24 June 2018 Step 12: Once the bow has been stained, dried, and sealed, wrap the 5 inches of handle with hemp cord using a whipping technique (above). Andrew Del-colle And Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "How to Make a Bow and Arrow By Hand," 5 June 2018 It was stained black, as if someone had ladled tar over its bark. Nathanael Johnson, WIRED, "Are Avocados Toast?," 24 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

So, like any rational design-lover, Keltie decided to sand down the beams to remove the red stain, while opting for white walls to accentuate the height. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "This is How TV Personality Keltie Knight Crafted the Bedroom of Her Dreams," 25 Oct. 2018 Using a clean, white cloth, sponge the stain with the mixture. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Coffee Stains Out of Absolutely Everything," 6 Sep. 2018 Apply hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice to the stain. Jolie Kerr, Teen Vogue, "How To Get Period Stains Out: 10 Ways to Remove Blood from Fabric," 17 July 2018 This scandal left an indelible stain on our country’s history. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "South Korean prosecutors request 30-year sentence for disgraced former president Park," 27 Feb. 2018 For Republicans, what seemed like a temporary political compromise is becoming an indelible moral stain. Michael Gerson, Anchorage Daily News, "Republicans watch as Trump makes the executive branch his personal fiefdom," 6 Feb. 2018 Clean your carpet in a pinch Got an oily stain on your rug? Leah Chernikoff, Redbook, "17 Who-Knew Brilliant Ways to Use Dry Shampoo," 12 June 2014 Twenty-eight athletes were later reinstated, but the stain of one of the most elaborate and successful doping ploys in sports remained. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "Russia's performance in World Cup — and the country's history — are raising doping suspicions," 5 July 2018 In 2015, the 911 police dispatch area was in desperate need of an upgrade, with water stains on the ceiling and desks and computers so old that replacement parts were no longer available. Claudia Vargas, Philly.com, "What happened to Philly's $40 million 911 surplus?," 26 June 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

11 Nov 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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