Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


staple

sta′ple

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
stapled
(-p’ld)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
stapling
.]
1.
To sort according to its staple;
as, to
staple
cotton
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Staple

STAPLE

,
Noun.
[G., a stake, a pile or heap, a staple, stocks, a mart. The primary sense of the root is to set, to fix. Staple is that which is fixed, or a fixed place, or it is a pile or store.]
1.
A settled mart or market; an emporium. In England, formerly, the kings staple was established in certain ports or towns, and certain goods could not be exported, without being first brought to these ports to be rated and charged with the duty payable to the king or public. The principal commodities on which customs were levied, were wool, skins and lether, and these were originally the staple commodities. Hence the words staple commodities, came in time to signify the principal commodities produced by a country for exportation or use. Thus cotton is the staple commodity of South Carolina, Georgia and other southern states of America. Wheat is the staple of Pennsylvania and New York.
2.
A city or town where merchants agree to carry certain commodities.
3.
The thread or pile of wool, cotton or flax. Thus we say, this is wool of a coarse staple, or fine staple. In America, cotton is of a short staple, long staple, fine staple, &c. The cotton of short staple is raised on the upland; the sea-island cotton is of a fine long staple.
4.
A loop of iron, or a bar or wire bent and formed with two points to be driven into wood, to hold a hook, pin, &c.
Staple of land, the particular nature and quality of land.

STAPLE

,
Adj.
1.
Settled; established in commerce; as a staple trade.
2.
According to the laws of commerce; marketable; fit to be sold. [Not much used.]
3.
Chief; principal; regularly produced or made for market; as staple commodities. [This is now the most general acceptation of the word.]

Definition 2022


staple

staple

English

Noun

staple (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.
    • Arbuthnot
      The customs of Alexandria were very great, it having been the staple of the Indian trade.
    • Sir Walter Scott
      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.
  2. (by extension) Place of supply; source.
    • Macaulay
      Whitehall naturally became the chief staple of news. Whenever there was a rumour that any thing important had happened or was about to happen, people hastened thither to obtain intelligence from the fountain head.
  3. The principal commodity produced in a town or region.
    • Trench
      We should now say, Cotton is the great staple, that is, the established merchandize, of Manchester.
    • 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.
  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.
  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.
  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
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
  3. Fit to be sold; marketable.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Swift to this entry?)
  4. Regularly produced or manufactured in large quantities; belonging to wholesale traffic; principal; chief.
    • Hallam
      wool, the great staple commodity of England

Etymology 2

A box of staples

Probably 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.

Noun

staple (plural staples)

  1. A wire fastener used to secure stacks of paper by penetrating all the sheets and curling around.
  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.
  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.
  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?)
  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

Anagrams


German

Verb

staple

  1. First-person singular present of stapeln.
  2. Imperative singular of stapeln.
  3. First-person singular subjunctive I of stapeln.
  4. Third-person singular subjunctive I of stapeln.