From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishstainstain1 /steɪn/ ●○○ verb 1 [intransitive, transitive]MARK to accidentally make a mark on something, especially one that cannot be removed, or to be marked in this way Be careful you don’t stain the carpet. This tablecloth stains very easily. Her fingers were stained yellow from years of smoking.stain with a cowboy hat stained with dust and sweat2 [transitive]TIC to change the colour of something, especially something made of wood, by using a special liquid → dye We’ve decided to stain the shelves blue.3 → stain somebody’s name/honour/reputation etc→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusstain• She hoped the blood from the cut on her arm would not stain her blouse.• Sweat stained his dusty cowboy hat.• A sudden gust of rain dashed against the red bricks that were already stained in patches by water.• The blackberry juice had stained their clothes and fingers.• Her fingers were stained with dirt, her nail varnish chipped.stain with• The collar of his jacket was stained with something yellow.stainstain2 ●○○ noun 1 [countable]MARK a mark that is difficult to remove, especially one made by a liquid such as blood, coffee, or inkstain on There was a dark red stain on the carpet.remove/get rid of a stain White vinegar is great for removing stains.wine/coffee/blood etc stain How do you get wine stains out of a tablecloth?stubborn stains (=ones that are very difficult to remove)► see thesaurus at mark2 [countable, uncountable]TIC a special liquid that you use to change the colour of something, especially wood → dye3 → stain on somebody’s character/name/reputation etcCOLLOCATIONSADJECTIVES/NOUN + staina wine/coffee/blood etc stainHow can I get coffee stains out of a cotton tablecloth?a red/brown/dark etc stainThere was a brown stain on the bedroom ceiling.a stubborn stain (=one that is hard to remove)Lighter fuel can be used to remove more stubborn stains.verbsremove a stain (also shift a stain informal)He was trying to remove a stain from his jacket.Fruit juice stains can be hard to shift.get a stain out (also get rid of a stain) (=remove it)You’ll never get that stain out.get a stain on somethingShe didn’t want to get a stain on her new dress.something leaves a stainShe wiped the soup off her blouse, but it left a stain.a stain spreadsA dark stain spread over the grey carpet.stain + NOUNstain remover (=a special liquid for removing stains)stain removalHere are a few quick tips for stain removal.
Examples from the Corpusstain• Water is a miraculous substance remover; it will remove probably 85 percent of all stains.• I studied him in fascination as he polished his shoes each night after supper and inspected his suits for wrinkles and stains.• The pillow had a large stain on it the color of tobacco.• Although the pulsed dye laser is often considered of limited value in mature portwine stain, Tan has recently reported excellent results.• She could feel the red stain crawl up her neck as she caught his drift.• They had to gut the place because of the stains and the smell.• I can't get this stain out of the carpet.• Salt is the best cure for a red wine stain.wine/coffee/blood etc stain• Suzy walked into the lounge and switched on a table-lamp whose shade was spotted by a coffee stain.• Other arms took on the burden, and blood stained richly on the sleeves of Holly's tunic.• Port wine stains are heterogeneous, and responses to different lasers vary considerably.• She looked at the red wine stain on his trousers and felt tears pricking her eyes.• This time his shirt bore a long, teardrop shaped coffee stain.Origin stain1 (1400-1500) Partly from Old French desteindre “to discolor”, from teindre “to give something a different color”, from Latin tingere ( → TINGE2); partly from Old Norse steina “to paint”