staple

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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From Anglo-Norman estaple, Old French estaple ‎(market, (trading) post), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *stapulaz, from Proto-Indo-European *stebʰ- ‎(post, stem). Compare staff.

Noun[edit]

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[edit]

Verb[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

A box of staples

Probably from Middle English staple, pillar, post, from Old English stapol ‎(post, pillar). See also Old English steppan ‎(to step) and Old French estaple ‎(post). Consider also stapes ‎(stirrup), from Latin.

Noun[edit]

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?)
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

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[edit]
Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


German[edit]

Verb[edit]

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.