- 1 (of food, especially bread and cake) no longer fresh and therefore unpleasant to eat
- 2 (of air, smoke, etc.) no longer fresh; smelling unpleasant stale cigarette smoke stale sweat
- 3 something that is stale has been said or done too many times before and is no longer interesting or exciting stale jokes Their marriage went stale long ago.
- 4a person who is stale has done the same thing for too long and so is unable to do it well or produce any new ideas After ten years in the job, she felt stale and needed a change. The cast is changed regularly to stop the actors from getting stale.
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