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

When a deal to dig up artifacts for money goes sour, relations in the tight-knit group get even worse, leading to a denouement that brings some late action to an otherwise stale narrative. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Pompei' ('Pompéi'): Film Review | TIFF 2019," 6 Sep. 2019 Much like the traditional Tuscan panzanella salad, made to revive leftover stale bread, this summer version requires little in the way of measurements. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, "How to turn old bread into a fresh and amazing meal," 5 Sep. 2019 No longer do movie theater patrons feel the need to put up with sticky floors or stale popcorn. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "The best seat in the house: The ultimate guide to Houston-area movie theaters," 27 Aug. 2019 In 1999, Mike Judge released Office Space, the movie that encapsulated the soul-sucking experience of working a dull corporate tech job, replete with stale gray cubicles, long hours, and obnoxious workplace distractions. Jonas Downey, Quartz at Work, "How my colleagues and I stay sane in our open office," 22 Aug. 2019 Simply dab the oils on your wrists and behind your ears mid-flight to refresh you—and combat stale cabin smells. Lauren Joseph, Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Reusable Travel Bottles for All Your Creams, Soaps, and Serums," 19 Aug. 2019 In interviews, executives fret about letting its new brands go stale as some older ones did. Fortune, "Big-Box Rebound: How Target Packaged a Turnaround," 20 Aug. 2019 The day after the moon landing brought another one of those interminable afternoons in the front room—nothing on the telly, stale, old-folks’ chat in the air. Kevin Dettmar, The New Yorker, "Witnessing the Moon Landing in Ireland, at the Start of the Troubles," 20 July 2019 As more and more brands hooked up, though, the allure of the high-low fast-fashion collab went a bit stale—at least until a guy named Virgil Abloh came along. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "From LV x Supreme to Beychella: 14 Collaborations That Actually Mattered in the 2010s," 18 July 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

Statistics for stale

Last Updated

11 Sep 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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