stale

adjective
\ ˈstāl How to pronounce stale (audio) \
staler; stalest

Definition of stale

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : tasteless or unpalatable from age stale bread
2 : tedious from familiarity a stale routine
3 : impaired in legal force or effect by reason of being allowed to rest without timely use, action, or demand a stale affidavit a stale debt
4 : impaired in vigor or effectiveness

stale

verb (1)
staled; staling

Definition of stale (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to make stale
2 archaic : to make common : cheapen

intransitive verb

: to become stale

stale

verb (2)
staled; staling

Definition of stale (Entry 3 of 4)

intransitive verb

: urinate used chiefly of camels and horses

stale

noun

Definition of stale (Entry 4 of 4)

: urine of a domestic animal (such as a horse)

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Other Words from stale

Adjective

stalely \ ˈstāl-​lē How to pronounce stalely (audio) \ adverb
staleness noun

Examples of stale in a Sentence

Adjective a room filled with stale smoke viewers were bored by the stale story lines of the new crop of sitcoms
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective And the commercial approach was to rip off consumers by overcharging for stale content packaged into oversized bundles. The Economist, "Who will win the media wars?," 14 Nov. 2019 Homemade stuffing often calls for stale bread; cut and cube the bread now, and set the cubes out in a single layer on a baking sheet. oregonlive, "Cut Thanksgiving stress with this handy holiday checklist," 13 Nov. 2019 The blue corn tostada shell accompanying the steak tartare tastes stale. Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, "Mixtape: Dining Review," 1 Nov. 2019 To begin with, UAB is 10-5 all-time against Memphis, and all of those victories came when UAB football was being run out of an old, stale dentist’s office. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "For UAB football, an opportunity is here to upstage an old rival," 1 Nov. 2019 Many who are open to the idea of buying a stale property are novice buyers on limited budgets. Ellen James Martin | Andrews Mcmeel Syndication, courant.com, "Smart Moves: Stale listings can produce fresh deals," 31 Oct. 2019 Be the breath of fresh air at the stale organization. Allison Hope, Quartz at Work, "This US spy manual intended to sabotage Nazis has great tips for coping with your toxic boss," 2 Oct. 2019 One recurring sentimental music-box melody grew stale quickly. BostonGlobe.com, "White Snake Projects’ immigration opera is a timely tale haunted by American dreams - The Boston Globe," 22 Sep. 2019 After nearly 30 years on the air, Katherine’s act has grown a little stale, to her viewers and herself. New York Times, "‘Late Night’ Review: Emma Thompson Takes On the Old Boys of Network TV," 5 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Blinkie’s Donut Emporium, owned by a Cambodian American father-daughter duo, offers handmade donuts daily, always closing at noon so their selection never stales. Theo Stroomer, National Geographic, "This is the donut capital of the United States," 5 June 2019 The product has staled compared to the previous standards. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "It’s not a pretty picture inside Southlake Carroll’s football program," 27 Jan. 2018 Set collection is a particularly satisfying mechanism but one that stales easily; Fabled Fruit tweaks the formula in every game to bypass that problem. Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, "The best board games we played at PAX Unplugged," 24 Nov. 2017 Petty theft, Clifton Boulevard: Police were called to CVS Pharmacy about 2 a.m. Oct. 12 on a report of a man staling body wash items and leaving in a car. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland.com, "Lakewood police respond to burglary, car theft complaints: police blotter," 22 Oct. 2017 While the bread is staling, combine blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, sugar and lemon juice in a large saucepan over low heat. Robin Mather, Detroit Free Press, "Icebox desserts worth the chill," 8 July 2017 Time may have withered her, to misquote Shakespeare, but custom will never stale this mother’s infinite, and exasperating, variety. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘Our Mother’s Brief Affair,’ a Play About Unmoored Lives," 20 Jan. 2016 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Blinkie’s Donut Emporium, owned by a Cambodian American father-daughter duo, offers handmade donuts daily, always closing at noon so their selection never stales. Theo Stroomer, National Geographic, "This is the donut capital of the United States," 5 June 2019 The product has staled compared to the previous standards. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "It’s not a pretty picture inside Southlake Carroll’s football program," 27 Jan. 2018 Set collection is a particularly satisfying mechanism but one that stales easily; Fabled Fruit tweaks the formula in every game to bypass that problem. Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, "The best board games we played at PAX Unplugged," 24 Nov. 2017 Petty theft, Clifton Boulevard: Police were called to CVS Pharmacy about 2 a.m. Oct. 12 on a report of a man staling body wash items and leaving in a car. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland.com, "Lakewood police respond to burglary, car theft complaints: police blotter," 22 Oct. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The subject is a topical one, but the approach feels stale. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "In Mindy Kaling’s Late Night, Women Strive For Excellence While Men DGAF," 7 June 2019 The sage smudge stick is sitting stale in a drawer. Anne-marie Yerks, House Beautiful, "My House Was Hiding a Tragic Secret — And I Needed to Know the Truth," 15 Oct. 2015 Democrats, meanwhile, say there has been no fresh outreach to them after talks about attaching something to the government spending package stale mated. Tal Kopan, CNN, "White House seeks to rekindle immigration debate on Hill," 10 Apr. 2018 And while many have written it off as a stale, co-opted opponent with little relevance to national political developments, the last month has shown that the situation is not so simple. Sofia Fenner, Washington Post, "Why Egypt's oldest political party isn't challenging President al-Sissi," 7 Feb. 2018 New Orleans School of Cooking's King Cake Bread Pudding Serves 10 to 12 1 traditional king cake, stale, cut in 1-inch cubes Equal amount of French bread, cut in 1-inch cubes. Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "King cake leftovers? Make bread pudding, trifle and cake pops," 6 Feb. 2018 But keeping the festival world-class and fresh, year after year, is a challenge, and some critics have warned that Lincoln Center’s was growing stale. Michael Cooper, New York Times, "Tastemaker Wanted: Lincoln Center Festival Director to Step Down," 28 June 2017 Blackhawks looking stale: Has this group run out of magic? Kevin Allen, USA TODAY, "Six first-round NHL playoff surprises: Maple Leafs are closer than we thought," 25 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stale.' 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 stale

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

1599, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1548, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stale

Adjective

Middle English, settled, clear (of ale), not fresh, from Anglo-French estale, probably from Middle Dutch stel old (of beer)

Verb (2)

Middle English; akin to Middle Low German stallen to urinate, stal urine of horses

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Learn More about stale

Time Traveler for stale

Time Traveler

The first known use of stale was in the 15th century

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Statistics for stale

Last Updated

20 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Stale.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stale. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for stale

stale

adjective
How to pronounce stale (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of stale

of food : no longer good or appealing : no longer fresh
: not clean, clear, or pure : having an unpleasant taste or smell
: not interesting or new : boring or unoriginal

stale

adjective
\ ˈstāl How to pronounce stale (audio) \
staler; stalest

Kids Definition of stale

1 : having lost a good taste or quality through age stale bread
2 : used or heard so often as to be dull stale jokes
3 : not so strong, energetic, or effective as before He felt stale in his job.

stale

adjective

Legal Definition of stale

: impaired in legal effect or force by reason of not being used, acted upon, or demanded in a timely fashion a search warrant based on stale information a stale claim

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More from Merriam-Webster on stale

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stale

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stale

Spanish Central: Translation of stale

Nglish: Translation of stale for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stale for Arabic Speakers

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