- not fresh; vapid or flat, as beverages; dry or hardened, as bread.
- musty; stagnant: stale air.
- having lost novelty or interest; hackneyed; trite: a stale joke.
- having lost freshness, vigor, quick intelligence, initiative, or the like, as from overstrain, boredom, or surfeit: He had grown stale on the job and needed a long vacation.
- Law. having lost force or effectiveness through absence of action, as a claim.
- to make or become stale.
Origin of stale1
Synonyms for staleSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Antonyms for stale
- (of livestock, especially horses) to urinate.
Origin of stale2
Related Words for stalingsear, evaporate, scorch, wither, decay, deteriorate, blister, blacken, parch, melt, char, bake, dwindle, wilt, shrink, exhaust, drain, blot, deplete, shrivel
Examples from the Web for staling
Historical Examples of staling
The occation was for staling a small bark of littell or no vallue.Diary of Richard Cocks Vol. I
Is it not perceivable that it had, on the contrary, a staling quality?
They show by degrees the gradual, and then the rapid, staling of Rosalie's fond sympathies.
He straightened his slouched shoulders, and the fog left his eyes and the fumes of staling alcohol quit his brain.Old Judge Priest
Irvin S. Cobb
- (esp of food) hard, musty, or dry from being kept too long
- (of beer, etc) flat and tasteless from being kept open too long
- (of air) stagnant; foul
- uninteresting from overuse; hackneyedstale clichés
- no longer newstale news
- lacking in energy or ideas through overwork or lack of variety
- banking (of a cheque) not negotiable by a bank as a result of not having been presented within six months of being written
- law (of a claim, etc) having lost its effectiveness or force, as by failure to act or by the lapse of time
- to make or become stale
Word Origin for stale
- (intr) (of livestock) to urinate
- the urine of horses or cattle
Word Origin for stale
Word Origin and History for staling
c.1300, "freed from dregs or lees" (of ale, wine, etc.), i.e. "having stood long enough to clear," cognate with Middle Dutch stel "stale" (of beer), and probably ultimately from Proto-Germanic base *sta- "stand," the source of Old English standan "to stand," Perhaps via Old French estaler "halt," from Frankish *stal- "position" (see stall (n.1)). The meaning "not fresh" is first recorded late 15c. Figurative sense (of immaterial things) is recorded from 1560s. Related: Staleness.