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

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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

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 Scientists developed methods for staining chromosomes so they could be sorted and counted, a test called karyotyping. Wired, "The WIRED Guide to Genetic Testing," 3 Dec. 2019 Be sure to read the box instructions thoroughly; use Vaseline around the hairline to avoid staining your skin; and focus on the areas that are most visible (translation: your hairline and part), says Giselle. Christina Oehler, Health.com, "Everyone Is Dyeing Their Hair During Quarantine—Here’s What Stylists Want You to Know," 20 Apr. 2020 Three of the four bedrooms connect to the living room, including the master suite, which, like the rest of the house, has stained concrete floors. New York Times, "What You Get for $3 Million in California," 20 Apr. 2020 Smoothing every surface is critical before painting or staining. Popular Science, "The cheapest way to build your own wine rack," 18 Apr. 2020 Carpets, floors and walls are being replaced and repainted, outdoor decks are getting power washed, and wood surfaces are getting sanded down and freshly stained on tight budgets. Chuck Blount, ExpressNews.com, "A tiny coronavirus silver lining: San Antonio bar owners are using downtime for renovations and updates," 17 Apr. 2020 Dacor Heritage appliances add more modern details and include a side-by-side refrigerator and freezer hidden by white oak panels stained in a whitewash finish. Dallas News, "3rd Street Custom Homes spotlights half-acre property in Richardson," 12 Apr. 2020 The chemical smelled like bleach and stained some of their clothing, tourists who were there told the Washington Post. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "'All pretty scared': Americans doused with mystery chemical while held in quarantine by Peruvian authorities," 8 Apr. 2020 The old gray couch would go, of course, as would the dark credenza, pine stained to look like chestnut, filled mostly with issues of Time dating from the ’80s. Daniel Mason, The Atlantic, "For the Union Dead," 6 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With Caesarstone’s Outdoor Collection surfaces, cooks can breathe a welcome sigh of relief—stains are a non-issue. Caesarstone, Bon Appétit, "Real Outdoor Cooks Agree: This Is the Counter for Adventurous Cooking," 2 Apr. 2020 On April 2, 2019, investigators searched the Price Court home and, using a spray that indicates the presence of blood, found a stain on the inside of a closet door in Sparks' bedroom, according to the KSP detective. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "What's the latest in the Savannah Spurlock murder case? Another delay," 4 Mar. 2020 Some argue that the stain of slavery is fading, which makes reparations moot, but Tamara Lanier disagrees. Tracy Scott Forson, USA TODAY, "Enslaved labor built these universities. Now they are starting to repay the debt," 12 Feb. 2020 Forensic tests in the 1950s and 1980s failed to prove conclusively that the stains are blood. Fox News, "King’s stained execution vest tells grisly tale, set to go on display," 31 Jan. 2020 As the appalling scope of the school’s shameful history becomes clear, the stain will be everlasting. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Scrubbing names is not enough! Macalester College must be closed!," 21 Nov. 2019 In some rock shelters those stains are still visible. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Ancient desert cave as grand as any cathedral," 5 Oct. 2019 The only stain on their perfect season so far was the defeat in Naples on matchday one of their Champions League defence. SI.com, "Liverpool: The XI That Should Start Against MK Dons in the Carabao Cup," 24 Sep. 2019 The red lip stain was courtesy of Waller-Bridge's co-star Sian Clifford who gave her onscreen sister a congratulatory smooch after Waller-Bridge was announced as the winner of the Emmy of Writing in a Comedy Series. Neha Prakash, Allure, "Emmys 2019: Phoebe Waller-Bridge Accepts Award With Lipstick on Her Cheek," 23 Sep. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for stain

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for stain

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stain. Accessed 6 Jun. 2020.

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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

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