Definition of stain noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//steɪn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//steɪn//
    jump to other results
  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). Synonymsmarkstain 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 colour from the surface it is on:She had streaks of grey 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 or paint being dropped on a surfacesmear a mark made by something such as oil or paint being spread or rubbed on a surfacespot a small dirty mark on something:There were grease spots all over the walls.Patterns a streak/​speck/​blot/​smear/​spot of something a greasy mark/​stain/​smear an ink mark/​stain/​blot/​spot a grease mark/​stain/​spot to leave a mark/​stain/​fingerprint/​streak/​speck/​blot/​smear
  2. 2[uncountable, countable] a liquid used for changing the colour 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. Word Originlate Middle English (as a verb): shortening of archaic distain, from Old French desteindre ‘tinge with a colour different from the natural one’. The noun was first recorded (mid 16th cent.) in the sense ‘defilement, disgrace’.Extra examples The glass fell and a dark stain spread over the carpet. The glass fell off the table and a dark stain spread over the carpet. The scandal left a dark stain on his reputation. a port wine stain, present at birth A dark stain spread over the patterned carpet. Apply two coats of white stain. I couldn’t get the stains out of my jeans. Our new washing powder will get rid of even the most stubborn stains. The oil had left stains on the floor. They can give you advice on stain removal. a wood stain blood/​coffee/​wine stains
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: stain

Other results

All matches