stain

1 of 2

verb

stained; staining; stains

transitive verb

1
: to suffuse with color
2
3
a
: 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
stainable adjective
stainer noun

stain

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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
stainproof 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?
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Members of the Oakland Athletics’ devoted fan base are livid after the team’s owners announced Thursday that the A’s would relocate to Sacramento starting next year, a move some said would forever stain Major League Baseball. Ari Plachta, Sacramento Bee, 4 Apr. 2024 In these storage rooms-turned-displays, an area known as the Collections Core, visitors can view jars of preserved fish specimens, their skin turned translucent, their skeletons stained a bright red. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 4 Apr. 2024 Cosmetically, hard water can stain your appliances, crockery, cutlery, and glassware by leaving chalky deposits on the surface. USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2024 And there are six surviving swatches of that dress stained with Lincoln’s blood. Chris Klimek, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Mar. 2024 More accessible chambers harbor other histories: an Incan vase filled with gold coins, shards of a Spanish olive jar stained with the oldest wine in the Americas. Carina Del Valle Schorske, New York Times, 20 Mar. 2024 The army was charged with securing the election outside the capital, and voters had their fingers stained with red ink to ensure no one votes more than once. Jessica Donati, Babacar Dione, The Christian Science Monitor, 24 Mar. 2024 Photograph by Christina Holmes At the start of Michigan’s fruit belt are sprawling apple and peach orchards, and endless berry patches begging you to stop by and stain your fingertips. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, 21 Mar. 2024 The permethrin spray bonds to fabric fibers for up to 6 weeks or through 6 washings without staining or damaging clothing, fabrics, plastics, or outdoor gear. Karthika Gupta, Travel + Leisure, 21 Mar. 2024
Noun
Mattress protectors can help prevent stains and moisture buildup that can degrade your kid's mattress. Kelsey Kunik, Parents, 10 Apr. 2024 The cosmetic implications range from mild discoloration to yellow and brown stains and obvious pits in the teeth. Claire Gillespie, Health, 7 Apr. 2024 Once collected, a Gram stain is applied to part of the specimen and examined under a microscope. Tanya Feke, Verywell Health, 4 Apr. 2024 Both the inside and outside of the bag are made with a wipeable material in case of any spills or stains. Lauren Fischer, Travel + Leisure, 4 Apr. 2024 The brush’s sole power level might not be enough for tough stains. Camryn Rabideau, Peoplemag, 3 Apr. 2024 And there were those stains on the bedspread, which criminalist Charles Merritt pointed to at trial and described as Bob's blood. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, 30 Mar. 2024 While butcher block can be stained, it is not recommended because stains are typically not food-safe. Katherine Owen, Southern Living, 27 Mar. 2024 Some of the judging criteria for the fleece includes fineness and handle, uniformity of micron and color, character, crimp and staple type, density and brightness, absence of guard hair, impurities/stains/fleece damage, lock structure and density luster. Tammy Ljungblad, Kansas City Star, 23 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stain.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1557, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near stain

Cite this Entry

“Stain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stain. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

stain

1 of 2 verb
1
: to soil or discolor especially in spots
2
: to give color to (as by dyeing) : tinge
3
a
: corrupt entry 1 sense 1
a fine mind stained by jealousy
b
: disgrace entry 1
the scandal stained his reputation
stainer noun

stain

2 of 2 noun
1
: a soiled or discolored spot
2
: a mark of guilt or disgrace
bore the stain of their father's crime
3
: something (as a dye) used in staining: 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 very small and transparent structures visible, to color tissue elements so that they can be told apart, and to produce specific chemical reactions
stainless
ˈstān-ləs
adjective

Medical Definition

stain

1 of 2 transitive verb
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

2 of 2 noun
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

More from Merriam-Webster on stain

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