- 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.
- 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.
- to produce a stain.
- to become stained; take a stain: This fabric stains easily.
Origin of stain
SynonymsSee more synonyms for stain on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for stain
We ask our celebrities to pour their hearts out, and then chastise them if they stain our buttoned-up shirts.Welcome to Generation Overshare: Lena Dunham, Taylor Swift, and the Politics of Self-Disclosure
November 6, 2014
While that is unlikely to happen, the very fact that it can is a stain on the American judicial system.10-Year-Old Murder Defendant Shows Failure of U.S. Juvenile Justice System
October 18, 2014
About “developers in bed with reviewers,” and the stain this leaves on the “integrity of games journalism.”It's Dangerous to Go Alone: Why Are Gamers So Angry?
August 28, 2014
She is right that, for some, the stain of humiliation can indeed be irrevocable.How Monica Lewinsky Changed the Media
May 9, 2014
Hot water makes the proteins in the blood set and that makes the stain stick around longer.How to Be Cameron Diaz
January 6, 2014
Bitterly he recalled the stain upon his family in generations gone by.Weighed and Wanting
There was no stain of savagery upon the delight we had in coming to this spot.In the Valley
Nay, fear no trick; like you I remember my soul, and do not stain my hands with blood.
"It would be better not to stain our hands with the creature's blood," he said.
A stain on the name of Huron can only be hid by blood that comes from the veins of an Indian.The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
- to mark or discolour with patches of something that dirtiesthe dress was stained with coffee
- to dye with a penetrating dyestuff or pigment
- to bring disgrace or shame onto stain someone's honour
- to colour (specimens) for microscopic study by treatment with a dye or similar reagent
- (intr) to produce indelible marks or discolorationdoes 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
Word Origin and History for stain
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.).
- A reagent or dye that is used for staining microscopic specimens.
- A procedure in which a dye or a combination of dyes and reagents is used to color the constituents of cells and tissues.
- To treat specimens for the microscope with a reagent or dye that makes visible certain structures without affecting others.