There are 2 definitions of staple in English:

staple1

Syllabification: sta·ple
Pronunciation: /ˈstāpəl
 
/

noun

1A piece of bent metal or wire pushed through something or clipped over it as a fastening, in particular.
1.1A piece of thin wire with a long center portion and two short end pieces that are driven by a stapler through sheets of paper to fasten them together.
More 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.
1.2A small U-shaped metal bar with pointed ends for driving into wood to hold attachments such as electric wires, battens, or sheets of cloth in place.
More 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] Back to top  
Attach or secure with a staple or staples: Mark 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:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day premonition
Pronunciation: ˌprēməˈniSHən
noun
a strong feeling that something will happen …

There are 2 definitions of staple in English:

staple2

Syllabification: sta·ple
Pronunciation: /
 
ˈstāpəl/

noun

1A main or important element of something, especially of a diet: 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.
2The fiber of cotton or wool considered with regard to its length and degree of fineness: [in combination]: jackets made from long-staple Egyptian cotton
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 center 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.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Sort or classify (wool, etc.) according to fiber.
More example sentences
  • Environmentally friendly sheep's wool is stapled into the lateral groove for insulation.

Origin

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

Derivatives

stapled

adjective
[in combination]: a long-stapled type of fiber
More example sentences
  • Selected strong cashmere style Faure goats offer a valuable genetic resource for the production of long stapled strong cashmere.

Definition of staple in: