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

With the proper prep and staining products, your deck will look next to new. Maya Mcdowell, Popular Mechanics, "How To Rehab Your Deck For Summer," 3 July 2019 And while the chances of staining a white sofa or rug are high, the risk is worth the reward. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "6 Tricks to Make a Windowless Room Feel Bright," 1 July 2019 The carpeting was ripped and stained, and the vinyl ceiling in the kitchen sagged. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Meet the A.I. Landlord That’s Building a Single-Family-Home Empire," 21 June 2019 Both are, however, vulnerable to chips or breaks if subjected to blunt force in unsupported areas—like, say, by dropping a cast iron skillet right on the corner of your counter—and both can stain. Hannah Morrill, ELLE Decor, "The Main Differences Between Quartz and Granite," 17 June 2019 Every decorative touch is intentional, from the massive Mission-style chandliers and tile-like wallpaper to the bar’s stained glass. Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News, "First Look: Inside Danville’s gorgeous new Cielito Cocina Mexicana," 13 June 2019 Lying in front of him is Gurino, face down, his blood staining the sidewalk. Rafael Olmeda, sun-sentinel.com, "He’s the man who killed the man who killed the Miami Subs founder," 17 June 2019 Just wear rubber gloves when you shampoo; the dye is seriously saturated and will stain your hands a little. Jaime Osnato, SELF, "How I Keep My Temporary Hair Color Fresh to Death," 4 Apr. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The huge, first-floor master suite with a separate seating area has new oak hardwood floors in a light gray stain, an amazing high ceiling, glass doors which open onto a private porch and two walk-in closets. courant.com, "Property of the Week: 38 Brian Lane, Avon," 5 July 2019 Say goodbye to set-in stains (like grass and mustard!) with these powerful washers from Miele that excelled in our Cleaning Lab’s evaluations. The Good Housekeeping Institute, Good Housekeeping, "GH Seal Spotlight: Miele TwinDos Washer," 28 June 2019 Pagan rituals celebrating fertility and the life cycle are depicted throughout, and like so many things that can trace their origins back to the early days of civilization, there’s a brutal, violent stain beneath the veneer of rebirth. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Midsommar Makes Haunting Horror Out Of Sunlight & Flower Crowns," 28 June 2019 The possibility of stains, a red halo around your mouth vicinity, and suggestive slurping noises—all too high. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "23 Date-Friendly Foods, According to Me," 4 June 2019 To tackle stains on-the-go, tuck a Shout Wipe & Go Instant Stain Remover in your purse. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean White Converse Sneakers, According to the Experts," 20 May 2019 Tempaper products are intended to go over walls painted with an eggshell, stain, or semi-gloss paints. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "5 wall decor ideas perfect for renters and DIY lovers," 26 Mar. 2018 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

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

8 Jul 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

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