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staple

Overview

This page has 28 definitions of staple in English, German, and Middle English. Staple is a noun, verb and adjective. Examples of how to use staple in a sentence are shown. Also define these 55 related words and terms: town, right, royal, authority, produce, certain, goods, export, also, body, seen, group, trade, chief, news, basic, essential, supply, most, when, sacks, lie, heaped, wool, like, spun, yarn, thread, tow, flax, raw, sort, marketable, wire, fastener, secure, stack, paper, penetrate, curl, rod, piling, wharf, ladder, mining, shaft, level, pit, district, abbey, post, prop, support, stapeln, and stapel.

See also: Staple

English

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Middle English staple, from Anglo-Norman estaple, Old French estaple (market, (trading) post), from Late Latin stapula, from Middle Dutch stapel (pillar; foundation; market), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *stapulaz (post), from Proto-Indo-European *stebʰ- (post, stem). Compare staff.

Noun

staple (countable and uncountable, plural staples)

  1. (now historical) A town containing merchants who have exclusive right, under royal authority, to purchase or produce certain goods for export; also, the body of such merchants seen as a group.
    • 1727, John Arbuthnot, Tables of Ancient Coins, Weights and Measures. Explain'd and exemplify'd in several dissertations
      The customs of Alexandria were very great, it having been the staple of the Indian trade.
    • 1821 January 8, [Walter Scott], Kenilworth; a Romance. [], volume (please specify |volume=I, II, or III), Edinburgh: [] Archibald Constable and Co.; and John Ballantyne, []; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co., OCLC 277979407:
      For the increase of trade and the encouragement of the worthy burgesses of Woodstock, her majesty was minded to erect the town into a staple for wool.
    • 2011, Thomas Penn, Winter King, Penguin 2012, p. 73:
      Calais was one of the ‘principal treasures’ of the crown, of both strategic and economic importance. It was home to the staple, the crown-controlled marketplace for England's lucrative textile trade, whose substantial customs and tax revenues flooded into Henry's coffers.
    • Export definition
      of or relating to exportation or exports
  2. (by extension) Place of supply; source.
  3. The principal commodity produced in a town or region.
    • 1961 October, “Editorial: The importance of the "Roadrailer"”, in Trains Illustrated, page 577:
      The old staple of coal is a declining traffic; and what remains tends to be hauled a shorter distance, as new power stations are sited closer to coalfields.
  4. A basic or essential supply.
    Rice is a staple in the diet of many cultures.
  5. A recurring topic or character.
    • 2010, The Economist, Jul-Aug 2010, p. 27:
      In most countries, rubbish makes headlines only when it is not collected, and stinking sacks lie heaped on the streets. In Britain bins are a front-page staple.
    • When definition
      At what time? At which time? Upon which occasion or circumstance? Used to introduce direct or indirect questions about time. (1 of 3 when definitions)
  6. Short fiber, as of cotton, sheep’s wool, or the like, which can be spun into yarn or thread.
    Tow is flax with short staple.
    • Spun definition
      simple past tense and past participle of spin
    • Thread definition
      A long, thin and flexible form of material, generally with a round cross-section, used in sewing, weaving or in the construction of string. (1 of 9 thread definitions)
    • Flax definition
      A plant of the genus Linum, especially Linum usitatissimum, which has a single, slender stalk, about a foot and a half high, with blue flowers. Also known as linseed, especially when referring to the seeds. (1 of 3 flax definitions)
  7. Unmanufactured material; raw material.
Translations

Verb

staple (third-person singular simple present staples, present participle stapling, simple past and past participle stapled)

  1. (transitive) To sort according to its staple.
    to staple cotton

Adjective

staple (not comparable)

  1. Relating to, or being market of staple for, commodities.
    a staple town
  2. Established in commerce; occupying the markets; settled.
    a staple trade
  3. Fit to be sold; marketable.
    • 1714 February, [Jonathan Swift], The Publick Spirit of the Whigs: Set forth in Their Generous Encouragement of the Author of the Crisis: [], 3rd edition, London: [] [John Barber] for John Morphew, [], published 1714, OCLC 1015508897:
      What needy writer would not solicit to work under such masters, who will pay us beforehand, take off as much of our ware as we please, at our own rates, and trouble not themselves to examine, either before or after they have bought it, whether it be staple, or not.
  4. Regularly produced or manufactured in large quantities; belonging to wholesale traffic; principal; chief.
    • 1818, Henry Hallam, View of the state of Europe during the Middle ages
      wool, the great staple commodity of England
    • 1929, M. Barnard Eldershaw, A House Is Built, Chapter VIII, Section ii:
      The pastoral industry, which had weathered the severe depression of the early forties by recourse to boiling down the sheep for their tallow, and was now firmly re-established as the staple industry of the colony, was threatened once more with eclipse.

Etymology 2

A box of staples

From Middle English stapel (staple, pillar, post), from Old English stapol (post, pillar), from Proto-Germanic *stapulaz, from Proto-Indo-European *stebʰ- (post, stem). See also Old English steppan (to step) and Old French estaple (post). Consider also stapes (stirrup), from Latin. Doublet of staple (etymology 1).

Noun

staple (plural staples)

  1. A wire fastener used to secure stacks of paper by penetrating all the sheets and curling around.
    • Wire definition
      Metal formed into a thin, even thread, now usually by being drawn through a hole in a steel die. (1 of 15 wire definitions)
    • Stack definition
      A pile.
      1. A large pile of hay, grain, straw, or the like, larger at the bottom than the top, sometimes covered with thatch.
      2. A pile of similar objects, each directly on top of the last. (1 of 26 stack definitions)
    • Penetrate definition
      To enter into; to make way into the interior of; to pierce. (1 of 6 penetrate definitions)
  2. A wire fastener used to secure something else by penetrating and curling.
    Can you believe they use staples to hold cars together these days?
  3. A U-shaped metal fastener, used to attach fence wire or other material to posts or structures.
    The rancher used staples to attach the barbed wire to the fence-posts.
    • 1855, Frederick Douglass, chapter 3, in My Bondage and My Freedom, New York: Miller, Orton and Mulligan:
      Esther's wrists were firmly tied, and the twisted rope was fastened to a strong staple in a heavy wooden joist above, near the fire-place. Here she stood, on a bench, her arms tightly drawn over her breast. Her back and shoulders were bare to the waist.
  4. One of a set of U-shaped metal rods hammered into a structure, such as a piling or wharf, which serve as a ladder.
    Fortunately, there were staples in the quay wall, and she was able to climb out of the water.
    • Piling definition
      A structural support comprising a length of wood, steel, or other construction material. (1 of 3 piling definitions)
    • Ladder definition
      A frame, usually portable, of wood, metal, or rope, used for ascent and descent, consisting of two side pieces to which are fastened rungs (cross strips or rounds acting as steps). (1 of 6 ladder definitions)
  5. (mining) A shaft, smaller and shorter than the principal one, joining different levels.
  6. A small pit.
  7. A district granted to an abbey.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Camden to this entry?)
    • Abbey definition
      The office or dominion of an abbot or abbess. (1 of 4 abbey definitions)
  8. (obsolete) A post; prop; support
Translations

Verb

staple (third-person singular simple present staples, present participle stapling, simple past and past participle stapled)

  1. (transitive) To secure with a staple.
Derived terms
Translations

See also

Anagrams


German

Verb

staple

  1. inflection of stapeln:
    1. first-person singular present
    2. singular imperative
    3. first/third-person singular subjunctive I
    • Stapeln definition
      to pile up; to stack

Middle English

Etymology 1

Borrowed from Anglo-Norman staple (Old French estaple), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *stapulaz (post, pillar; basis, foundation). Doublet of stapel (post, stake).

Noun

staple (plural staples)

  1. staple (official market established by royal authority for selling export goods)
  2. staple (the town containing such market)
Alternative forms
Descendants

References

Etymology 2

Noun

staple (plural staples)

  1. Alternative form of stapel