American English

Definition of stain noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a dirty mark on something, that is difficult to remove a blood/a coffee/an ink, etc. stain stubborn stains (= that are very difficult to remove) How can I get this stain out? The carpet has been treated so that it is stain-resistant (= it does not stain easily). synonyms at
  2. 2[uncountable, countable] a liquid used for changing the color of wood or cloth wood stain
  3. 3[singular] a stain on something (formal) something that damages a person's reputation, so that people think badly of them He left the court without a stain on his character.
  4. Thesaurusmarkstain fingerprint streak speck blot smear spotThese are all words for a small area of dirt or another substance on a surface.mark a small area of dirt or other substance on the surface of something, especially one that spoils its appearance:The kids left dirty marks all over the kitchen floor.stain a dirty mark on something that is difficult to remove, especially one made by a liquid:blood stainsfingerprint a mark on a surface made by the pattern of lines on the end of a person's finger, often used by the police to identify criminals:Her fingerprints were all over the gun.streak a long thin mark or line that is a different color from the surface it is on:She had streaks of gray in her hair.speck a very small mark, spot, or piece of a substance on something:There isn't a speck of dust anywhere in the house.blot a spot or dirty mark left on something by a substance such as ink being dropped on a surface:an ink blotsmear a mark made by something such as oil or paint being spread or rubbed on a surface:She had smears of paint on her a small dirty mark on something:He found grease spots all over the walls.Patterns a streak/speck/blot/smear/spot of something a greasy mark/stain/smear a/an ink mark/stain/blot/spot a/an grease mark/stain/spot to leave a mark/stain/fingerprint/streak/speck/blot/smear
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: stain

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