staple
Pronunciation
  • (RP, America) IPA: /ˈsteɪ.pəl/
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.
    • The customs of Alexandria were very great, it having been the staple of the Indian trade.
    • 1821 January 7, [Walter Scott], Kenilworth; a Romance. [...] In Three Volumes, volume (please specify ), Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co.; and John Ballantyne, Edinburgh; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co., OCLC 277979407 ↗:
    • 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.
    • 18, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 3, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume (please specify ), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323 ↗:
  3. The principal commodity produced in a town or region.
    • 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
  • French: production principale
  • German: Ausgangsmaterial, Grundversorgung
  • Italian: prodotto, prodotto di base, prodotto principale, risorsa
  • Spanish: esencialidad, materia prima, producto principal
Translations Translations
  • French: aliment de base
  • German: Grundnahrungsmittel
  • Italian: alimento base
  • Russian: основно́й проду́кт пита́ния
  • Spanish: alimento básico, alimento de primera necesidad
Verb

staple (staples, present participle stapling; 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.
  4. Regularly produced or manufactured in large quantities; belonging to wholesale traffic; principal; chief.
    • wool, the great staple commodity of England
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.
    • 1855, Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom Chapter 3
      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.
  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.
  8. (obsolete) A post; prop; support
Translations Translations Translations Verb

staple (staples, present participle stapling; past and past participle stapled)

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


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