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

Interminable schleps, stale $18 sandwiches and seating that makes the cabin on Air Torquemada feel relatively comfy seem to be the norm. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, "New Airport Terminals Where Killing Time Has Its Perks," 30 Apr. 2019 Not every journalist must choose between the view-from-nowhere voice of the objective journalist and stale aphorisms of major newspaper editorial pages. David Roberts, Vox, "My advice for aspiring explainer journalists," 9 Dec. 2018 Forget the stale cheese, wine, and chocolate Advent calendars of your childhood. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "13 Christmas Movies You Can Watch on Netflix Right Now," 30 Nov. 2018 Tear stale slices into chunks and toss with dressing. Kate Merker, Country Living, "Cider-Braised Chicken-and-Fennel Panzanella," 21 Sep. 2018 The feeling of this team was that tiki-taka has turned stale without the truly special talents that marked the team in 2010. Grant Wahl, SI.com, "Spain Always Looked Out of Sorts at This World Cup," 1 July 2018 When running starts to feel stale, a floodgate opens to a million other complaints. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, "When running gets monotonous, change the scenery or the soundtrack," 21 June 2018 Let’s rebirth the stale parts of our lives and implement a fresh start. Teen Vogue, "This Week's Horoscopes: March 31 - April 6," 1 Apr. 2019 But a sealed building can create stale air, humidity and mold issues, hence the need for an energy recovery system. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Why Your Next Home Might Not Need Any Energy at All," 22 Dec. 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

5 Jun 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 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

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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