staple

1
[ stey-puh l ]
/ ˈsteɪ pəl /

noun

a short piece of wire bent so as to bind together papers, sections of a book, or the like, by driving the ends through the sheets and clinching them on the other side.
a similar, often U-shaped piece of wire or metal with pointed ends for driving into a surface to hold a hasp, hook, pin, bolt, wire, or the like.

verb (used with object), sta·pled, sta·pling.

to secure or fasten by a staple or staples: to staple three sheets together.

Origin of staple

1
before 900; Middle English stapel orig., support, post, Old English stapol; cognate with Middle Dutch stapel foundation, German Stapel pile, Old Norse stǫpull pillar

Definition for staple (2 of 2)

staple2
[ stey-puh l ]
/ ˈsteɪ pəl /

noun

adjective

verb (used with object), sta·pled, sta·pling.

to sort or classify according to the staple or fiber, as wool.

Origin of staple

2
1375–1425; late Middle English: place where merchants have trading rights < Middle Dutch stapel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for staple

British Dictionary definitions for staple (1 of 2)

staple1
/ (ˈsteɪpəl) /

noun

a short length of thin wire bent into a square U-shape, used to fasten papers, cloth, etc
a short length of stiff wire formed into a U-shape with pointed ends, used for holding a hasp to a post, securing electric cables, etc

verb

(tr) to secure (papers, wire, etc) with a staple or staples

Word Origin for staple

Old English stapol prop, of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch stapel step, Old High German staffal

British Dictionary definitions for staple (2 of 2)

staple2
/ (ˈsteɪpəl) /

adjective

of prime importance; principalstaple foods
(of a commodity) forming a predominant element in the product, consumption, or trade of a nation, region, etc

noun

verb

(tr) to arrange or sort (wool, cotton, etc) according to length and fineness

Word Origin for staple

C15: from Middle Dutch stapel warehouse; see staple 1
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