Try Our Apps


Blech. These are the grossest words.


[steyn] /steɪn/
a discoloration produced by foreign matter having penetrated into or chemically reacted with a material; a spot not easily removed.
a natural spot or patch of color different from that of the basic color, as on the body of an animal.
a cause of reproach; stigma; blemish:
a stain on one's reputation.
coloration produced by a dye that penetrates a substance, as wood.
a dye made into a solution for coloring woods, textiles, etc.
a reagent or dye used in treating a specimen for microscopic examination.
verb (used with object)
to discolor with spots or streaks of foreign matter.
to bring reproach or dishonor upon; blemish.
to sully with guilt or infamy; corrupt.
to color or dye (wood, cloth, etc.) by any of various processes that change or react with the substance chemically.
to color with something that penetrates the substance.
to treat (a microscopic specimen) with some reagent or dye in order to color the whole or parts and so give distinctness, contrast of tissues, etc.
verb (used without object)
to produce a stain.
to become stained; take a stain:
This fabric stains easily.
Origin of stain
1350-1400; Middle English steynen < Old Norse steina to paint; in some senses aphetic form of distain
Related forms
stainable, adjective
stainability, stainableness, noun
stainably, adverb
stainer, noun
destainer, noun
nonstainable, adjective
nonstainer, noun
nonstaining, adjective
restain, verb
understain, noun
understain, verb (used with object)
well-stained, adjective
1, 3. mark, imperfection, blot. 3. taint. 7. spot, streak, soil, dirty. 8. sully, taint, tarnish, disgrace, dishonor, debase, defile, contaminate, pollute. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for stainer
Historical Examples
  • Instruments without any resemblance whatever to those of stainer are accepted by the multitude as original Jacob stainers.

    The Violin George Hart
  • There remained, after all stainer's changes, the German sound-hole and extra arching, &c.

    The Violin George Hart
  • For several years he followed the path trodden by the makers of the period, and copied stainer.

    The Violin George Hart
  • The form is somewhat like stainer's, but higher and heavier in construction.

    The Violin George Hart
  • stainer and Amati made violins which were mostly demanded by amateurs on account of their round, sweet, silver tone.

  • stainer says this was undoubtedly the precursor of the organ.

  • It's Dickie Lowe's donkey, but he's got a cold and he had to save up for to-night, ma'am, to sing in the stainer.

    The Girls of St. Olave's Mabel Mackintosh
  • The stainer of the sea-fowl's beak, resolved to scour the main, far distant shores connected by swift fleets.

  • She studied harmony and composition with stainer and Prout, and after this excellent training spent much time in creative work.

    Woman's Work in Music Arthur Elson
  • These works show the diligent zeal with which stainer laboured in his studies of the Italian masters.

    The Violin George Hart
British Dictionary definitions for stainer


Sir John. 1840–1901, British composer and organist, noted for his sacred music, esp the oratorio The Crucifixion (1887)


verb (mainly transitive)
to mark or discolour with patches of something that dirties: the dress was stained with coffee
to dye with a penetrating dyestuff or pigment
to bring disgrace or shame on: to stain someone's honour
to colour (specimens) for microscopic study by treatment with a dye or similar reagent
(intransitive) to produce indelible marks or discoloration: does ink stain?
a spot, mark, or discoloration
a moral taint; blemish or slur
a dye or similar reagent, used to colour specimens for microscopic study
a solution or liquid used to penetrate the surface of a material, esp wood, and impart a rich colour without covering up the surface or grain
any dye that is made into a solution and used to colour textiles and hides
Derived Forms
stainable, adjective
stainability, noun
stainer, noun
Word Origin
C14 steynen (vb), shortened from disteynen to remove colour from, from Old French desteindre to discolour, from des-dis-1 + teindre, from Latin tingere to tinge
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for stainer



late 14c., probably representing a merger of Old Norse steina "to paint" and a shortened form of Middle English disteynen "to discolor or stain," from Old French desteign-, stem of desteindre "to remove the color," from des- (from Latin dis- "remove;" see dis-) + Old French teindre "to dye," from Latin tingere (see tincture). Related: Stained; staining. Stained glass is attested from 1791.


1560s, from stain (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
stainer in Medicine

stain (stān)

  1. A reagent or dye that is used for staining microscopic specimens.

  2. A procedure in which a dye or a combination of dyes and reagents is used to color the constituents of cells and tissues.

v. stained, stain·ing, stains
To treat specimens for the microscope with a reagent or dye that makes visible certain structures without affecting others.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for stain

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for stainer

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for stainer