Date: 1400-1500
Origin: Partly from Old French desteindre 'to discolor', from teindre 'to give something a different color', from Latin tingere ( TINGE2); partly from Old Norse steina 'to paint'


1 verb
1 [intransitive and transitive] to accidentally make a mark on something, especially one that cannot be removed, or to be marked in this way:
Be careful you don't stain the carpet.
This tablecloth stains very easily.
Her fingers were stained yellow from years of smoking.
stain with
a cowboy hat stained with dust and sweat
2 [transitive]TIC to change the colour of something, especially something made of wood, by using a special liquid [↪ dye]:
We've decided to stain the shelves blue.

stain somebody's name/honour/reputation etc

literary to damage the good opinion that people have about someone

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