stale

adjective
\ ˈstāl \
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 \ 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

Boro have won four of their last six games, while Villa have picked up points, despite putting in fairly stale performances since beating Wolves at the beginning of March. SI.com, "What Aston Villa Must Do to Beat Middlesbrough & Qualify for Championship Playoff Final," 10 May 2018 Its metaphors have grown stale, its winks are now klaxons and its messages — once distorted and eerie — now land with a thud. Bobby Finger, New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: ‘House Hunters’," 3 Apr. 2018 The only stale one on the market is the Toyota Sequoia, which is appreciated for its rugged old-school truckness. Robert Duffer, chicagotribune.com, "2018 Nissan Armada review: The beauty of this beast is value," 11 Apr. 2018 However, the facilities also lack the ability to cycle in fresh air, making the air stale and moldy. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A Million People Live Underground in Beijing's Fallout Shelters," 23 May 2017 If Hollywood grows stale, Timmy should consider another career as a National Geographic nature photographer. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "This Week in Timothée Chalamet, November 9 Edition," 9 Nov. 2018 Otherwise, go stale, and not just day-old—more like two or three. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, "Everyone’s Secret-Favorite Thanksgiving Dish," 8 Nov. 2018 According to the National Confectioners’ Association, candy corn was invented in the 1880s, and Americans went crazy for it, with its indistinguishable sugar flavor and slightly stale, marshmallowy texture. Maura Judkis, The Seattle Times, "Candy corn controversy? ‘Most-hated’ Halloween treat expands flavors, options," 30 Oct. 2018 Meatballs Serves 8 to 10 1 small loaf stale Italian bread (about 8 thick slices) torn into 2½-inch chunks 2 lbs. Jessica Fecteau, PEOPLE.com, "Donatella Arpaia Shares the Family Recipe That Started Her 'Whole Career' As a Celebrity Chef," 30 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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

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 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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Statistics for stale

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stale

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

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More Definitions for stale

stale

adjective

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 \
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stale

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stale

Spanish Central: Translation of stale

Nglish: Translation of stale for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stale for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stale

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