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English definition of “stain”

stain

verb uk   /steɪn/ us  

stain verb (MARK)

C2 [I or T] to leave a mark on something that is difficult to remove: Tomato sauce stains terribly - it's really difficult to get it out of clothes. While she was changing the wheel on her car, her coat had become stained with oil. [I] If a material stains, it absorbs substances easily, causing it to become covered with marks, or coloured by a chemical: This carpet is ideal for the kitchen because it doesn't stain easily. [T] to change the colour of something using a chemical: She stripped the floorboards and stained them dark brown.

stain verb (SPOIL)

C2 [T] literary to permanently spoil something such as someone's reputation: Several important politicians have had their reputations stained by this scandal. The country's history is stained with the blood of (= the country is guilty of killing) millions of innocent men and women.

stain

noun uk   /steɪn/ us  

stain noun (MARK)

B1 [C] a dirty mark on something that is difficult to remove: a blood/grass stain You can remove a red wine stain from a carpet by sprinkling salt over it. [C] a chemical for changing the colour of something

stain noun (DAMAGE)

[S] literary permanent damage to someone's reputation or character: His solicitor said, "He leaves this court without a stain on his character."
(Definition of stain from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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