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
2 : discolor, soil
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 stain (audio) \ adjective
stainer \ ˈstā-​nər How to pronounce stain (audio) \ noun

Noun

stainproof \ ˈstān-​ˌprüf How to pronounce stain (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for stain

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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 His efforts, culminating in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, will forever stain his legacy. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 8 Oct. 2021 Those reasons include astonishingly deadly air pollution, contamination of water supplies, destruction of wildlife habitat and the never-ending barrage of leaks, spills and blowouts that can kill people and animals and stain beloved landscapes. Los Angeles Times, 5 Oct. 2021 But pink wines don’t come from one grape, but from a winemaking process using skins to stain the juice—and in recent years, Italian rosato makers have been fine-tuning the process to create a lighter, pinker, more refreshing drink. Adam H. Graham, Condé Nast Traveler, 30 Sep. 2021 The debacle of the US defeat and chaotic retreat in Afghanistan is a political disaster for Joe Biden, whose failure to orchestrate an urgent and orderly exit will further rock a presidency plagued by crises and stain his legacy. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 16 Aug. 2021 The type of chemical is commonly known as PFAS or PFOS and is used in nonstick pans, making furniture and carpets stain resistant, absorbing grease in products like pizza boxes as is contained as well in firefighting foam commonly used at airports. Devin Dwyer, ABC News, 10 Aug. 2021 Somehow the brains behind one of TV’s most-beloved institutions managed to stain its reputation needlessly. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 21 Aug. 2021 Even if renters can't be removed, eviction court filings can stain a person's financial history for years. Chauncey Alcorn, CNN, 10 Aug. 2021 The magic of The Laundress’s wash and stain bar keeps them looking good as new. Bon Appétit, 1 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun From a lipstick that goes on like the prettiest, sheerest Popsicle stain to a mascara that delivers all the volume without any of the flakes, here's what's absolutely worth spending your money on from Chanel. Glamour, 4 Aug. 2021 Steady trickles of pollution stain the bank metallic hues of orange and purple. Michael Hawthorne, chicagotribune.com, 14 June 2021 Bell is sporting the Aria Belt Bag in the noir shade of vegan leather, which is scratch, stain, and water-resistant. Claire Harmeyer, PEOPLE.com, 8 Oct. 2021 Some might argue that an unprecedented two impeachments represent the ultimate sanction and historic stain. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 8 Oct. 2021 And what a stain on baseball and one of its most venerable teams. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, 23 Aug. 2021 With several stain and paint options, wood windows are easy to customize. Bridget Degnan, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 Aug. 2021 These durable, dry-erase surfaces are low-maintenance and stain resistant. Grace Haynes, Southern Living, 2 July 2021 These are made with nonporous glass that won’t absorb odors, stain or warp. Chris Hachey, BGR, 25 June 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near stain

stail

stain

stainability

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Statistics for stain

Last Updated

22 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stain. Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for stain

stain

verb

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

stain

transitive verb
\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on stain

Nglish: Translation of stain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about stain

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