English dictionary



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English noun: stain

1. stain (attribute) a soiled or discolored appearance


SamplesThe wine left a dark stain.


Synonymsdiscoloration, discolouration


Broader (hypernym)appearance, visual aspect


Narrower (hyponym)bloodstain, iron mold, iron mould, mud stain, oil stain, scorch, tarnish

2. stain (substance) (microscopy) a dye or other coloring material that is used in microscopy to make structures visible


Broader (hypernym)color, coloring material, colour, colouring material


Narrower (hyponym)counterstain, crystal violet, gentian violet, methylene blue, methylthionine chloride


Domain categorymicroscopy

3. stain (state) the state of being covered with unclean things


Synonymsdirt, filth, grease, grime, grunge, soil


Broader (hypernym)dirtiness, uncleanness

4. stain (communication) a symbol of disgrace or infamy


SamplesAnd the Lord set a mark upon Cain.


Synonymsbrand, mark, stigma


Broader (hypernym)symbol


Narrower (hyponym)bar sinister, bend sinister, cloven foot, cloven hoof, demerit

5. stain (act) an act that brings discredit to the person who does it


SamplesHe made a huge blot on his copybook.


Synonymsblot, smear, smirch, spot


Broader (hypernym)error, fault, mistake


English verb: stain

1. stain (change) color with a liquid dye or tint


SamplesStain this table a beautiful walnut color.
People knew how to stain glass a beautiful blue in the middle ages.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something


Broader (hypernym)dye


Narrower (hyponym)dip, ebonise, ebonize, marble, tattoo, vein

2. stain (change) produce or leave stains


SamplesRed wine stains the table cloth.


Pattern of useSomething ----s


Broader (hypernym)alter, change, modify


Narrower (hyponym)smut


Verb groupblob, blot, fleck, spot

3. stain (contact) make dirty or spotty, as by exposure to air; also used metaphorically


SamplesThe silver was tarnished by the long exposure to the air.
Her reputation was sullied after the affair with a married man.


Synonymsdefile, maculate, sully, tarnish


Pattern of useSomething ----s.
Somebody ----s something.
Something ----s something


Broader (hypernym)blob, blot, fleck, spot


Narrower (hyponym)darken

4. stain (change) color for microscopic study


SamplesThe laboratory worker dyed the specimen.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something


Broader (hypernym)dye









Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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