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 stale (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 Brady was terrific in his lone season in Baton Rouge, helping revolutionize a stale offense into one of the nation’s best as part of a national championship season. John Talty | Jtalty@al.com, al, 17 Oct. 2021 If the levels drop, that suggests the room’s ventilation system is successfully replacing stale air with air that is fresher and contains less carbon. Starre Vartan, Scientific American, 13 Oct. 2021 After that, once the situation becomes stale and there’s still no progress made, one of the two stars is likely to request a trade. Shane Young, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 Launched in 1997 by Otto Penzler, owner of New York’s venerable Mysterious Bookshop and longtime publisher of the Mysterious Press, the series had grown stale. Tod Goldberg, USA TODAY, 13 Oct. 2021 The message that domesticated passion inevitably grows stale is one of the lessons that John draws from the movie. Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2021 All of the characters’ characteristics are red herrings, and usually stale ones at that. New York Times, 10 Oct. 2021 Ventilators help alleviate the problem by continuously removing stale, contaminated air from the home and replacing it with fresh outside air. Dan Diclerico, Good Housekeeping, 30 Sep. 2021 The day after Wilma Banks lost power, the stale, sticky air inside her apartment became suffocating. Annie Waldman, ProPublica, 22 Sep. 2021 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, 5 June 2019 The product has staled compared to the previous standards. Mac Engel, star-telegram, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 5 June 2019 The product has staled compared to the previous standards. Mac Engel, star-telegram, 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, 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, 22 Oct. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Danielle escapes to the buffet to finger stale-looking pastries, sandwiches filled with mayonnaise-y salads, gloopy pasta. Jocelyn Silver, Vogue, 2 Apr. 2021 The first bite crunched into the burger’s onion rings and thick pretzel bun, which was a cut above Wendy’s usual signature, stale-to-the-touch buns. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, 10 Nov. 2020 As the supply of equities shrinks, developed nations from the U.S. to Japan are turning stale. Washington Post, 19 Sep. 2019 Did McCarthy’s offense get stale in Green Bay at the end? Dallas News, 14 Jan. 2020 This manner of breaking down the fourth wall feels stale from the start. New York Times, 14 Nov. 2019 And though the future looks bright, even that trope feels stale. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, 3 Oct. 2019 The subject is a topical one, but the approach feels stale. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, 7 June 2019 The sage smudge stick is sitting stale in a drawer. Anne-marie Yerks, House Beautiful, 15 Oct. 2015

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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Time Traveler for stale

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near stale

stalagmometry

stale

stalemate

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Statistics for stale

Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stale.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stale. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for stale

stale

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of stale

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on stale

Nglish: Translation of stale for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stale for Arabic Speakers

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