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 Boggs also said the fungus can stain your shoes and will likely keep sidewalks in Sharonville orange until the next good rain. Ken Brown, The Enquirer, "No, it's not Cheeto dust. Streets of Sharonville painted orange by pear tree fungus," 25 June 2020 Cedar or redwood is preferred; no need to paint or stain the box. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ten ways to attract and help bluebirds in Wisconsin," 25 June 2020 The Rumpl is water, odor, and stain resistant, and soft to boot. Popular Science, "Car blankets that are perfect for your next road trip," 24 June 2020 But how much of that was aided by chemical supplements is an open question, and one that ultimately stained his career. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "The Home Run Derby Field Looks Loaded," 2 July 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But Biden advocated for the expansion of federal civil asset forfeiture in the 1980s — work that, to civil libertarians, is an implacable stain on his record. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Civil libertarians have a beef with Joe Biden over asset forfeiture," 17 June 2020 Prasenjeet located a fresh urine stain, where a cat had marked its territory. Peter Gwin, National Geographic, "Himalaya ‘ghost cats’ are finally coming into view," 16 June 2020 The soft, stretchy waistline minimizes rub while its breathable TechSweat fabric (a winning nylon-lycra-polyester combo) keeps moisture to a minimum and stays opaque for sweat-stain resistance. Lindsey Olander, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Bike Shorts to Wear This Summer," 15 June 2020 The pardon comes three days before the 100-anniversary of the Duluth lynchings, a dark stain on Minnesota's history. CBS News, "Minnesota grants state's first posthumous pardon to black man in 1920 case that led to lynchings," 12 June 2020 The substances can repel both oil and water and have been used for decades in products like stain-resistant fabrics, nonstick cookware and firefighting foam. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Johnson Controls pushes back on DNR order to test more wells for 'forever chemicals'," 8 June 2020 After that, launder the item as normal using the right type of detergent for the fabric and voilà, the deodorant stain should be gone. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "The Right Way to Remove Deodorant Stains From Your Shirts," 3 June 2020 The juice from it is not a stain, just something that fell. oregonlive, "In Oregon poet laureate Anis Mojgani’s work, he seeks to ‘delve into wonder’: 3 poems," 2 June 2020 For example, if your pyjamas or sweats have stains on them, those should be washed as soon as possible and not worn again immediately. Elly Belle, refinery29.com, "How Often Do You Really Need To Change Your Pyjamas Or Sweats?," 25 May 2020

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

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stain. Accessed 5 Jul. 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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