- 1[transitive, intransitive] to leave a mark that is difficult to remove on something; to be marked in this way stain (something) (with something) I hope it doesn't stain the carpet. This carpet stains easily. stain something + adj. The juice from the berries stained their fingers red.
- 2[transitive] to change the colour of something using a coloured liquid stain something to stain wood Stain the specimen before looking at it under the microscope. stain something + adj. They stained the floors dark brown.
- 3[transitive] stain something (formal) to damage the opinion that people have of something The events had stained the city's reputation unfairly. Word Origin late Middle English (as a verb): shortening of archaic distain, from Old French desteindre
BrE BrE//steɪn//; NAmE NAmE//steɪn//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they stain
BrE BrE//steɪn//; NAmE NAmE//steɪn//he / she / it stains
BrE BrE//steɪnz//; NAmE NAmE//steɪnz//past simple stained
BrE BrE//steɪnd//; NAmE NAmE//steɪnd//past participle stained
BrE BrE//steɪnd//; NAmE NAmE//steɪnd//-ing form staining
BrE BrE//ˈsteɪnɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈsteɪnɪŋ//