There are 2 main definitions of staple in English:

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staple1

Line breaks: staple
Pronunciation: /ˈsteɪp(ə)l
 
/

noun

1A piece of thin wire with two short right-angled end pieces which are driven by a stapler through sheets of paper to fasten them together.
Example sentences
  • If you use paper on your compost, be aware of any plastic or staples in the paper - worms can't eat that!
  • It was a 31-page black and white booklet fastened with staples.
  • The book was still held together by three staples.
1.1A U-shaped metal bar with pointed ends for driving into wood to hold things such as wires in place.
Example sentences
  • The staple struck a knot in the wood, causing the staple to strike her safety glasses.
  • Pin them down with U-shaped wire staples and cover with soil or mulch.
  • He secures the end of each rope to the tree's bottom with a U-shaped staple, then wraps the tree from the bottom up, turning the cardboard slowly as he goes.

verb

[with object and adverbial of place] Back to top  
Attach or secure with a staple or staples: Merrill stapled a batch of papers together
More example sentences
  • Avoid nailing or stapling the wires in place, since this can easily damage the insulation jacket on the outside of the wire and create corrosion in the wire or a short circuit against the staple.
  • Each page of the book is stapled or tacked to cork boards in four different buildings on campus.
  • Chicken wire had been stapled across the hole with a small gap left at the bottom.

Origin

Old English stapol, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch stapel 'pillar' (a sense reflected in English in early use).

Definition of staple in:

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There are 2 main definitions of staple in English:

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staple2

Line breaks: staple
Pronunciation: /ˈsteɪp(ə)l
 
/

noun

1A main or important element of something: bread, milk, and other staples Greek legend was the staple of classical tragedy
More example sentences
  • Bread, an important staple, is often purchased rather than home baked.
  • While shark meat has become an important staple of some diets, in other cultures the animal holds a more special place on the menu.
  • Salads and meat became the main staple of their diet.
1.1A main item of trade or production: rubber became the staple of the Malayan economy
More example sentences
  • Later as agents for Schneider's they shipped pig iron, rails and other ferrous products, bringing back those staples of the coastal trade, coal, grain and timber.
  • First, the domestic production of food staples in developing countries was disrupted.
  • Coffee, tea, and cocoa are all staples of the Fair Trade movement, and like opium, they're drugs - the strongest drugs the grocer can sell without having to check for documentation of your age.
2 [mass noun] The fibre of cotton or wool considered with regard to its length and degree of fineness: [in combination]: jackets made from long-staple Egyptian cotton [as modifier]: he tested the lint for staple length and strength
More example sentences
  • The long staple or long fiber of Egyptian-grown cotton means that there is more continuous fiber to use when creating threads or yarns.
  • For men, shirts in light shades are crafted from fine long staple yarn.
3 [often with modifier] historical A centre of trade, especially in a specified commodity: proposals were made for a wool staple at Pisa
More example sentences
  • It is evident that the staple was primarily a fiscal organ of the crown, facilitating the collection of the royal customs.

adjective

[attributive] Back to top  
1Main or important, especially in terms of consumption: the staple foods of the poor figurative violence is the staple diet of the video generation
More example sentences
  • As plantation workers angrily told our reporters, this increase is not even enough to buy half a kilo of low quality rice - the country's main staple food.
  • The main staple foods served with Ghanaian meals are rice, millet, corn, cassava, yams, and plantains.
  • Mr Power said that despite health risks associated with obesity, many children were still being served a staple diet of processed food.
1.1Most important in terms of trade or production: rice was the staple crop grown in most villages
More example sentences
  • This component of the decrease appears to have been partially compensated for by an increase in the rate of forest clearance for the production of staple crops.
  • Above all, this meant plantation agriculture, producing staple crops for export with slave labour.
  • Hexaploid common wheat is one of the most important staple crops globally.

Origin

Middle English (in (sense 3) of the noun)): from Old French estaple 'market', from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch stapel 'pillar, emporium'; related to staple1.

Definition of staple in:

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