staple Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “staple” in the English Dictionary

"staple" in British English

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staplenoun [C]

uk   us   /ˈsteɪ.pl̩/
  • staple noun [C] (WIRE)

a ​short, ​thinpiece of ​wire used to ​fastensheets of ​paper together. It has ​sharpends that are ​pushed through the ​paper and then ​bentflat by a ​specialdevice. a U-shaped ​piece of ​metal with ​sharpends that is ​fixed into a ​surface to ​hold something, such as a ​wirefence, in a ​particularposition
  • staple noun [C] (BASIC)

a ​mainproduct or ​part of something: Shortages ​mean that ​even staples (= ​basicfoods) like ​bread are ​difficult to ​find. Phosphate has been a staple of this ​area for many ​years. Romanticfiction and ​referencebooks are a staple of many ​publiclibraries.

stapleadjective [before noun]

uk   us   /ˈsteɪ.pl̩/

stapleverb [T]

uk   us   /ˈsteɪ.pl̩/
(Definition of staple from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"staple" in American English

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staplenoun [C]

 us   /ˈsteɪ·pəl/
  • staple noun [C] (WIRE)

a ​short, ​thin, U-shaped ​piece of ​wire with ​ends that ​bend to ​fastensheets of ​paper together: Put a staple in the ​upperleft-handcorner. A staple is also a ​small, ​thick, U-shaped ​piece of ​metal with ​sharpends that is ​hammered into a ​surface to ​hold something in ​place.
  • staple noun [C] (BASIC ITEM)

a ​basicfood, or a ​mainproduct or ​material: Because of the ​storm, most ​stores were ​low on staples such as ​bread and ​milk. Scandals are a ​newspaper staple.

stapleadjective [not gradable]

 us   /ˈsteɪ·pəl/
basic or ​main: staple ​foods

stapleverb [T]

 us   /ˈsteɪ·pəl/
  • staple verb [T] (USE WIRE)

to use a staple to ​fastensheets of ​paper together: Please staple the ​reports together.
(Definition of staple from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"staple" in Business English

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staplenoun [C]

uk   us   /ˈsteɪpl/
WORKPLACE a ​shortthinpiece of ​wire used to fasten ​pieces of ​paper together. It has ​sharpends that are ​pushed through the ​paper and then ​bentflat by a ​specialtool called a stapler.
ECONOMICS, COMMERCE the ​mainproduct of a country, whose ​trade is important for the country's ​economy: Sugar has been the staple of Cuba's ​economy for centuries.
COMMERCE a ​main or important ​product that ​people eat or use ​regularly: food/household/supermarket staples The ​giantretailerreportedstrongsales of ​household staples like ​groceries.
COMMERCE a ​company or ​industry that ​manufactures and ​sells important ​products and ​services that ​people eat or use ​regularly: So-called ​safeareas in the ​stockmarket continue to be consumer staples and ​drugcompanies. Millions of ​peopledaily use internet staples such as Google and Amazon.
a ​main or important ​part of something: Once a staple of men's ​business wardrobes, the ​suit is becoming more rare.

stapleadjective [before noun]

uk   us   /ˈsteɪpl/
basic, ​main, or ​standard: staple ​crop/​food/​product

stapleverb [T]

uk   us   /ˈsteɪpl/ WORKPLACE
to fasten ​pieces of ​paper together using staples: staple sth to sth The ​list can then be stapled to each ​batch of ​invoices.staple sth together She stapled the two ​documents together.
(Definition of staple from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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