Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Stail noun A handle, as of a mop; a stale. [ Eng.]

Stain transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Stained ; present participle & verbal noun Staining .] [ Abbrev. from 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.

2. To color, as wood, glass, paper, cloth, or the like, by processess 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.

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

Of honor void,
Of innocence, of faith, of purity,
Our wonted ornaments now soiled and stained .

4. To cause to seem inferior or soiled by comparison.

She stains the ripest virgins of her age.
Beau. & Fl.

That did all other beasts in beauty stain .

Stained glass , glass colored or stained by certain metallic pigments fused into its substance, -- often used for making ornament windows.

Syn. -- To paint; dye; blot; soil; sully; discolor; disgrace; taint. -- Paint , Stain , Dye . These denote three different processes; the first mechanical, the other two, chiefly chemical. To paint a thing is so 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.

Stain intransitive verb To give or receive a stain; to grow dim.

Stain noun
1. A discoloration by foreign matter; a spot; as, a stain on a garment or cloth. Shak.

2. A natural spot of a color different from the gound.

Swift trouts, diversified with crimson stains .

3. Taint of guilt; tarnish; disgrace; reproach.

Nor death itself can wholly wash their stains .

Our opinion . . . is, I trust, without any blemish or stain of heresy.

4. Cause of reproach; shame. Sir P. Sidney.

5. A tincture; a tinge. [ R.]

You have some stain of soldier in you.

Syn. -- Blot; spot; taint; pollution; blemish; tarnish; color; disgrace; infamy; shame.

Stainer noun
1. One who stains or tarnishes.

2. A workman who stains; as, a stainer of wood.

Stainless adjective Free from stain; immaculate. Shak.

The veery care he took to keep his name
Stainless , with some was evidence of shame.

Syn. -- Blameless; spotless; faultless. See Blameless .

Stainlessly adverb In a stainless manner.

Stair noun [ Middle English steir , steyer , Anglo-Saxon st...ger , from ...igan to ascend, rise. √164. See Sty to ascend.]
1. One step of a series for ascending or descending to a different level; -- commonly applied to those within a building.

2. A series of steps, as for passing from one story of a house to another; -- commonly used in the plural; but originally used in the singular only. "I a winding stair found." Chaucer's Dream.

Below stairs , in the basement or lower part of a house, where the servants are. -- Flight of stairs , the stairs which make the whole ascent of a story. -- Pair of stairs , a set or flight of stairs. -- pair , in this phrase, having its old meaning of a set . See Pair , noun , 1. -- Run of stars (Architecture) , a single set of stairs, or section of a stairway, from one platform to the next. -- Stair rod , a rod, usually of metal, for holding a stair carpet to its place. -- Up stairs . See Upstairs in the Vocabulary.

Staircase noun A flight of stairs with their supporting framework, casing, balusters, etc.

To make a complete staircase is a curious piece of architecture.
Sir H. Wotton.

Staircase shell . (Zoology) (a) Any scalaria, or wentletrap . (b) Any species of Solarium, or perspective shell.

Stairhead noun The head or top of a staircase.

Stairway noun A flight of stairs or steps; a staircase. "A rude and narrow stairway ." Moore.

Staith noun [ Anglo-Saxon stæ... a bank, shore, from the root of English stead .] A landing place; an elevated staging upon a wharf for discharging coal, etc., as from railway cars, into vessels.

Staithman noun A man employed in weighing and shipping at a staith. [ Eng.]

Stake noun [ Anglo-Saxon staca , from the root of English stick ; akin to OFries. & LG. stake , Dutch staak , Swedish stake, Danish stage . See Stick , transitive verb , and confer Estacade , Stockade .]
1. A piece of wood, usually long and slender, pointed at one end so as to be easily driven into the ground as a support or stay; as, a stake to support vines, fences, hedges, etc.

A sharpened stake strong Dryas found.

2. A stick inserted upright in a lop, eye, or mortise, at the side or end of a cart, a flat car, or the like, to prevent goods from falling off.

3. The piece of timber to which a martyr was affixed to be burned; hence, martyrdom by fire.

4. A small anvil usually furnished with a tang to enter a hole in a bench top, -- used by tinsmiths, blacksmiths, etc., for light work, punching upon, etc.

5. That which is laid down as a wager; that which is staked or hazarded; a pledge.

At stake , in danger; hazarded; pledged. "I see my reputation is at stake ." Shak.

Stake transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Staked ; present participle & verbal noun Staking .]
1. To fasten, support, or defend with stakes; as, to stake vines or plants.

2. To mark the limits of by stakes; -- with out ; as, to stake out land; to stake out a new road.

3. To put at hazard upon the issue of competition, or upon a future contingency; to wager; to pledge.

I'll stake yon lamb, that near the fountain plays.

4. To pierce or wound with a stake. Spectator.

Stake noun (Mormon Ch.) A territorial division; -- called also stake of Zion .

Every city, or " stake ," including a chief town and surrounding towns, has its president, with two counselors; and this president has a high council of chosen men.
Schaff-Herzog Encyc.

Stake-driver noun (Zoology) The common American bittern ( Botaurus lentiginosus ); -- so called because one of its notes resembles the sound made in driving a stake into the mud. Called also meadow hen , and Indian hen .

Stakehead noun (Rope making) A horizontal bar on a stake, used for supporting the yarns which are kept apart by pins in the bar.

Stakeholder noun The holder of a stake; one with whom the bets are deposited when a wager is laid.

Staktometer noun [ Greek ... falling by drops + -meter .] A drop measurer; a glass tube tapering to a small orifice at the point, and having a bulb in the middle, used for finding the number of drops in equal quantities of different liquids. See Pipette . Sir D. Brewster.

Stal obsolete imperfect of Steal . Stole.

Stalactic, Stalactical adjective (Geol.) Stalactitic.

Stalactiform adjective Like a stalactite; resembling a stalactite.

Stalactite noun ; plural Stalactites . [ Greek ... oozing out in drops, dropping, from ... to drop: confer French stalactite .] (Geol.) (a) A pendent cone or cylinder of calcium carbonate resembling an icicle in form and mode of attachment. Stalactites are found depending from the roof or sides of caverns, and are produced by deposition from waters which have percolated through, and partially dissolved, the overlying limestone rocks. (b) In an extended sense, any mineral or rock of similar form and origin; as, a stalactite of lava.

Stalactites noun [ New Latin ] A stalactite. [ Obsolete] Woodward.

Stalactitic, Stalactitical adjective [ Confer French stalactitique .] (Geol.) Of or pertaining to a stalactite; having the form or characters of a stalactite; stalactic.

Stalactitiform adjective Having the form of a stalactite; stalactiform.

Stalagmite noun [ Greek ... that which drops, a drop, from ... to drop; confer French stalagmite .] (Geol.) A deposit more or less resembling an inverted stalactite, formed by calcareous water dropping on the floors of caverns; hence, a similar deposit of other material.

Stalagmitic, Stalagmitical adjective Having the form or structure of stalagmites. -- Stal`ag*mit"ic*al*ly , adverb

Stalder noun [ From the root of stall .] A wooden frame to set casks on. [ Prov. Eng.]

Stale noun [ Middle English stale , stele , Anglo-Saxon stæl , stel ; akin to LG. & Dutch steel , German stiel ; confer Latin stilus stake, stalk, stem, Greek ... a handle, and English stall , stalk , noun ] The stock or handle of anything; as, the stale of a rake. [ Written also steal , stele , etc.]

But seeling the arrow's stale without, and that the head did go
No further than it might be seen.

Stale adjective [ Akin to stale urine, and to stall , noun ; probably from Low German or Scandinavian . Cf . Stale , intransitive verb ]
1. Vapid or tasteless from age; having lost its life, spirit, and flavor, from being long kept; as, stale beer.

2. Not new; not freshly made; as, stele bread.

3. Having lost the life or graces of youth; worn out; decayed. "A stale virgin." Spectator.

4. Worn out by use or familiarity; having lost its novelty and power of pleasing; trite; common. Swift.

Wit itself, if stale is less pleasing.

How weary, stale flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!

Stale affidavit (Law) , an affidavit held above a year. Craig. -- Stale demand (Law) , a claim or demand which has not been pressed or demanded for a long time.

Stale transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Staled ; present participle & verbal noun Staling .] To make vapid or tasteless; to destroy the life, beauty, or use of; to wear out.

Age can not wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety.

Stale intransitive verb [ Akin to D. & German stallen , Danish stalle , Swedish stalla , and English stall a stable. ... 163. See Stall , noun , and confer Stale , adjective ] To make water; to discharge urine; -- said especially of horses and cattle. Hudibras.

Stale noun [ See Stale , adjective & intransitive verb ]
1. That which is stale or worn out by long keeping, or by use. [ Obsolete]

2. A prostitute. [ Obsolete] Shak.

3. Urine, esp. that of beasts. " Stale of horses." Shak.

Stale noun [ Confer Old French estal place, position, abode, market, French étal a butcher's stall, Old High German stal station, place, stable, German stall (see Stall , noun ); or from Middle English stale theft, Anglo-Saxon stalu (see Steal , transitive verb )]
1. Something set, or offered to view, as an allurement to draw others to any place or purpose; a decoy; a stool pigeon. [ Obsolete]

Still, as he went, he crafty stales did lay.

2. A stalking-horse. [ Obsolete] B. Jonson.

3. (Chess) A stalemate. [ Obsolete] Bacon.

4. A laughingstock; a dupe. [ Obsolete] Shak.

Stalely adverb
1. In a state stale manner.

2. Of old; long since. [ Obsolete] B. Jonson.

Stalemate noun (Chess) The position of the king when he can not move without being placed on check and there is no other piece which can be moved.

Stalemate transitive verb (Chess) To subject to a stalemate; hence, to bring to a stand.

Staleness noun The quality or state of being stale.

Stalk noun [ Middle English stalke , from Anglo-Saxon stæl , stel , a stalk. See Stale a handle, Stall .]
1. (Botany) (a) The stem or main axis of a plant; as, a stalk of wheat, rye, or oats; the stalks of maize or hemp. (b) The petiole, pedicel, or peduncle, of a plant.

2. That which resembes the stalk of a plant, as the stem of a quill. Grew.

3. (Architecture) An ornament in the Corinthian capital resembling the stalk of a plant, from which the volutes and helices spring.

4. One of the two upright pieces of a ladder. [ Obsolete]

To climd by the rungs and the stalks .

5. (Zoology) (a) A stem or peduncle, as of certain barnacles and crinoids. (b) The narrow basal portion of the abdomen of a hymenopterous insect. (c) The peduncle of the eyes of decapod crustaceans.

6. (Founding) An iron bar with projections inserted in a core to strengthen it; a core arbor.

Stalk borer (Zoology) , the larva of a noctuid moth ( Gortyna nitela ), which bores in the stalks of the raspberry, strawberry, tomato, asters, and many other garden plants, often doing much injury.

Stalk intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Stalked ; present participle & verbal noun Stalking .] [ Anglo-Saxon stælcan , stealcian to go slowly; confer stels high, elevated, Danish stalke to stalk; probably akin to 1st stalk .]
1. To walk slowly and cautiously; to walk in a stealthy, noiseless manner; -- sometimes used with a reflexive pronoun. Shak.

Into the chamber he stalked him full still.

[ Bertran] stalks close behind her, like a witch's fiend,
Pressing to be employed.

2. To walk behind something as a screen, for the purpose of approaching game; to proceed under clover.

The king . . . crept under the shoulder of his led horse; . . . "I must stalk ," said he.

One underneath his horse, to get a shoot doth stalk .

3. To walk with high and proud steps; usually implying the affectation of dignity, and indicating dislike. The word is used, however, especially by the poets, to express dignity of step.

With manly mien he stalked along the ground.

Then stalking through the deep,
He fords the ocean.

I forbear myself from entering the lists in which he has long stalked alone and unchallenged.

Stalk transitive verb To approach under cover of a screen, or by stealth, for the purpose of killing, as game.

As for shooting a man from behind a wall, it is cruelly like to stalking a deer.
Sir W. Scott.

Stalk noun A high, proud, stately step or walk.

Thus twice before, . . .
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.

The which with monstrous stalk behind him stepped.

Stalk noun The act or process of stalking.

When the stalk was over (the antelope took alarm and ran off before I was within rifle shot) I came back.
T. Roosevelt.

Stalk-eyed adjective (Zoology) Having the eyes raised on a stalk, or peduncle; -- opposed to sessile-eyed . Said especially of podophthalmous crustaceans.

Stalk-eyed crustaceans . (Zoology) See Podophthalmia .

Stalked adjective Having a stalk or stem; borne upon a stem.

Stalked barnacle (Zoology) , a goose barnacle, or anatifer; -- called also stalk barnacle . -- Stalked crinoid (Zoology) , any crinoid having a jointed stem.

Stalker noun
1. One who stalks.

2. A kind of fishing net.

Stalking-horse noun
1. A horse, or a figure resembling a horse, behind which a hunter conceals himself from the game he is aiming to kill.

2. Fig.: Something used to cover up a secret project; a mask; a pretense.

Hypocrisy is the devil's stalking-horse under an affectation of simplicity and religion.

How much more abominable is it to make of him [ Christ] and religion a stalking-horse , to get and enjoy the world!

Stalkless adjective Having no stalk.