Stain Stain (st[=a]n), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Stained} (st[=a]nd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Staining}.] [Abbrev. fr. distain.] 1. To discolor by the application of foreign matter; to make foul; to spot; as, to stain the hand with dye; armor stained with blood. [1913 Webster]

2. To color, as wood, glass, paper, cloth, or the like, by processes affecting, chemically or otherwise, the material itself; to tinge with a color or colors combining with, or penetrating, the substance; to dye; as, to stain wood with acids, colored washes, paint rubbed in, etc.; to stain glass. [1913 Webster]

3. To spot with guilt or infamy; to bring reproach on; to blot; to soil; to tarnish. [1913 Webster]

Of honor void, Of innocence, of faith, of purity, Our wonted ornaments now soiled and stained. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

4. To cause to seem inferior or soiled by comparison. [1913 Webster]

She stains the ripest virgins of her age. --Beau. & Fl. [1913 Webster]

That did all other beasts in beauty stain. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

{Stained glass}, glass colored or stained by certain metallic pigments fused into its substance, -- often used for making ornamental windows. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To paint; dye; blot; soil; sully; discolor; disgrace; taint.

Usage: {Paint}, {Stain}, {Dye}. These denote three different processes; the first mechanical, the other two, chiefly chemical. To paint a thing is to spread a coat of coloring matter over it; to stain or dye a thing is to impart color to its substance. To stain is said chiefly of solids, as wood, glass, paper; to dye, of fibrous substances, textile fabrics, etc.; the one, commonly, a simple process, as applying a wash; the other more complex, as fixing colors by mordants. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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