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

If the deck is well stained and sealed, the stains will clean off more easily. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Leaf Stains Off Your Wood Deck," 24 Aug. 2019 The paintings were preserved by the ash, streaks of which still stain the walls. Chiara Goia, Smithsonian, "The New Treasures of Pompeii," 21 Aug. 2019 The jersey is original as issued, with no alterations, and displays moderate-to-heavy wear, including light staining throughout. baltimoresun.com, "Al Jackson, left-hander on original Mets and former Orioles pitching coach, dies at 83," 19 Aug. 2019 Midway through the meal, our server changes our charred, stained grill for a shiny fresh one. Los Angeles Times, "Column: The workers who make Korean barbecue possible deserve better," 29 July 2019 Glossy white cabinets had replaced the dark brown cabinets my mother had meticulously stained herself. Linda Wolff, latimes.com, "More than 30 years later, a visit to the old home where kids played and Dad used to smoke his pipe," 16 June 2018 This is a classic noir premise: the good man with the dark past who can’t avoid being stained by all the messes he’s created. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Dinosaur-riding Nazis in ‘Iron Sky, The Coming Race’ and more," 18 July 2019 But for the past several months, the last part of the equation has been stained by an invasion of seaweed-like algae. Andrea Navarro, BostonGlobe.com, "Cancun has a nasty seaweed problem, and tourists are staying away," 16 July 2019 Hoyt likes linen and woven fabrics for thick material that won’t stain. Helen Carefoot, Twin Cities, "Don’t let a small balcony stop you from enjoying the space," 15 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Brian Snyder, Arizona Republic The baseball season is not yet half over, but for those of us who view the shift as a stain on the game, or perhaps even a scourge, the play of the year has already happened. Kent Somers, azcentral, "Oh, shift! Why don't baseball players bunt to combat defensive strategy?," 7 June 2019 Wash or dry clean clothing, clean/remove stains on exteriors and interiors of purses and wallets. Doreen Christensen, sun-sentinel.com, "How to make a fast buck selling thrift store finds on Poshmark, ThredUp, The RealReal | Doreen’s Deals," 13 Sep. 2019 Then, cleansing renovations remove the stains of the past and take these homes from morbid to marvelous. Selena Barrientos, House Beautiful, "Murder House Flip Sounds Like Fixer Upper for True Crime Fans," 5 Sep. 2019 Supposedly, the charcoal kicks off a process called adsorption that's said to help remove stains from teeth naturally, but results may vary from person to person. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this Monday," 26 Aug. 2019 Airport staff were working to remove stains from the floors and covering up graffiti as passengers filed in. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "Order returns to Hong Kong airport, but tensions linger," 14 Aug. 2019 One is removing stains from the surface, caused by things like coffee and red wine. Rachel Lubitz, refinery29.com, "How To Whiten Your Teeth — Whether Your Budget Is $5 Or $500," 5 July 2019 Little things can go a long way, like a simple toothbrush stand, mirror, or the right soap bar to remove stains. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Brilliant travel accessories that make hotel rooms feel like home," 21 June 2019 This concoction is best used to remove lighter mold stains and prevent future growth. Cate Geiger, Country Living, "How to Get Rid of Black Mold Naturally," 23 May 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

2 Sep 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

Comments on stain

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