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 The shop assistant presents her with a dress made from material that doesn’t stain, causing Lise to become agitated. Ian Rankin, WSJ, "Five Best: Ian Rankin on Scottish Novels," 9 Oct. 2020 Such an amount was sufficient to color just the trim of a regular-size garment, and so distilling enough dye to stain even a small piece of cloth required enormous numbers of the animals. Mark Woolmer, National Geographic, "Purple Reign: A passion for purple built the Phoenicians' vast trading empire," 24 Sep. 2020 And then to be holding her pillbox hat, trying not to rip it or stain it (with) Reese telling you about the story. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "'Get Organized with The Home Edit' stars on 'surreal' experience in Reese Witherspoon's closet," 15 Sep. 2020 Downsides include the extra-tight closure, which can take a bit of muscle to open, and the fact that these containers can stain easily. Nicole Briese, USA TODAY, "Amazon's Big Labor Day Sale has arrived and the deals are stacked," 2 Sep. 2020 Odor-treating chemicals can degrade and stain lesser quality plastics over time, and harmful bacteria and viruses can linger in cracks and splits. Michael Pollick, chicagotribune.com, "The best travel toilet," 22 Aug. 2020 Glass, of course, is less likely to stain or absorb food odors, but can break and doesn’t play well with high-speed blades and wattage. Lesley Kennedy, CNN Underscored, "The best blenders of 2020," 19 Aug. 2020 Saggy Textured Ceilings: Step 1 Water damage will usually stain a drywall ceiling, but in some extreme cases, the drywall will actually sag down from the joists. Joseph Truini And Merle Henkenius, Popular Mechanics, "How to Repair Drywall: Common Ways to Fix Damaged Walls," 18 Aug. 2020 Wear a pair of food-handling gloves while incorporating the sauce into the meat; the sauce will stain your hands (and your clothing, so wear an apron). San Diego Union-Tribune, "Mexican chorizo with a twist," 19 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Try to avoid products with waterproofing or stain-repellency, which contain PFAS chemicals. Alden Wicker, Harper's BAZAAR, "Just How Harmful are the Chemicals in Your Clothes?," 16 Oct. 2020 Large grain oak and other wood cabinets can be refinished with a darker stain, but the grain will show through paint. oregonlive, "Kitchen cabinets are costly. Don’t make them trendy," 9 Oct. 2020 And when applied to concrete, muriatic acid also etches the surface, which prepares it for a fresh coat of paint or stain. Popular Mechanics, "How to Safely Use Muriatic Acid," 6 Oct. 2020 This sturdy piece of decor is handmade from pinewood with a warm walnut wood stain that gives it a vintage look. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, "This Farmhouse Ladder Is the Perfect Way to Show Off Houseplants," 22 Sep. 2020 Protein stains should be treated with an enzymatic stain remover prior to washing. Jolie Kerr, CNN Underscored, "How to remove stains from your face mask," 15 Sep. 2020 They are often paired with wood stains, and sometimes come as a combination oil and stain. Sarah Baird, Good Housekeeping, "Hardwood," 14 Sep. 2020 They are often paired with wood stains, and sometimes come as a combination oil and stain. Sarah Baird, House Beautiful, "Hardwood," 14 Sep. 2020 Many of them can be successfully treated with stain removal products, and there are options that can go directly into the washing machine. Angela Serratore, Country Living, "6 Important Things To Remember Before Rug Shopping," 14 Sep. 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

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stain. Accessed 24 Oct. 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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