Main definitions of staple in English

: staple1staple2

staple1

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.

    • ‘You will find that this magnet is able to pick up small steel things like paper clips, staples and thumb tacks.’
    • ‘These make great places to store nails, screws, nut, bolts, washers, tacks, and staples.’
    • ‘You don't have to wait long, and you can bind the results with a paperclip or a staple.’
    • ‘It was a 31-page black and white booklet fastened with staples.’
    • ‘If you use plastic or paper mulch, by the way, the towers themselves will lock it in place and you generally won't need other staples or pins.’
    • ‘It seems that, though the content of the paper remained completely unchanged, the addition of staples meant that, technically, we ceased to be a newspaper and became a magazine.’
    • ‘Add pens, pencils, notepads, stickers, boxes of staples and paperclips.’
    • ‘Rowena snatched up a box of staples and, as busily as she could, tried to reload her stapler, only to find that the staples were the wrong size.’
    • ‘Every night I opened it wide to the center, exposing the three metal staples securing the pages.’
    • ‘The book was still held together by three staples.’
    • ‘The stapled editions were limited to 240 pages simply because they don't make staples long enough to hold together anything larger.’
    • ‘In this instance, the controls were so loose that they were able to simply remove the staples sealing the envelope and peek inside.’
    • ‘There's no glue, no staples, no nails involved.’
    • ‘I even removed the staples from memos before depositing them in the paper bin.’
    • ‘Packages may be secured with a single piece of tape or glue, but do not use staples.’
    • ‘These include paper clips, thumbtacks, staples, pens, and Post-it Notes.’
    • ‘And instead of staples, clips snap onto the tracks to lock the tiles in place.’
    • ‘If you use paper on your compost, be aware of any plastic or staples in the paper - worms can't eat that!’
    • ‘If you use a staple to keep the pages together instead of a binder, you may just have a good or great requirements document.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the lesson didn't do anything to advance my quest to burgle paperclips and staples from my fellow office pool participants.’
    1. 1.1 A U-shaped metal bar with pointed ends for driving into wood to hold things such as wires in place.
      • ‘So what Dr Metcalfe did was get your good leg and clamp it together with metal staples to prevent it growing over those four years.’
      • ‘To make the bin, simply drive four strong posts into the ground to create the corners of a rough square or rectangle then, using a hammer and U staples, attach a length of galvanised chicken wire all the way around to form the container.’
      • ‘Pin them down with U-shaped wire staples and cover with soil or mulch.’
      • ‘A variety of staples are available for soft and hard wood.’
      • ‘The two blades of Arundo donax, a cane grown in southern France, are tied to a metal staple which, originally bound with thread to fit the top of the bore, is now lapped with cork.’
      • ‘They put these steel staples in and pulled the meat together.’
      • ‘Once it was half secured, Adam would get another grip on the wire and pull it tighter while Joe finished nailing in the staple.’
      • ‘Steel posts in America don't have holes in them - instead they have knobs on the sides where the wire is clipped on with staples.’
      • ‘The staple struck a knot in the wood, causing the staple to strike her safety glasses.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His right leg was pinned in an operation and has two screws and staples to hold the bone in place and he had to learn to walk again.’
      • ‘For each operation there were over 40 staples sealing the incision.’

verb

  • with object and adverbial of place Attach or secure with a staple or staples.

    ‘Merrill stapled a batch of papers together’
    • ‘If you ever watch the power company install a new pole, you will see that the end of that bare wire is stapled in a coil to the base of the pole.’
    • ‘It is thought she was exposed to the killer while stapling children's work to the walls.’
    • ‘Two days later, I stapled the receipt to the rebate offer, put it in an envelope, and mailed it off to Future Shop.’
    • ‘They're forced to generate their own publicity and conduct their own searches, which usually is limited to stapling hundreds of posters to telephone poles.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, I'll be collating and stapling application forms (just in case my wife or sister-in-law think I'm not doing any work).’
    • ‘They're stapling postage stamps to envelopes!’
    • ‘Each page of the book is stapled or tacked to cork boards in four different buildings on campus.’
    • ‘Participants in the campaign are collecting signed protest letters and stapling them to clean diapers.’
    • ‘Chicken wire had been stapled across the hole with a small gap left at the bottom.’
    • ‘I've seen people take chicken wire and staple it to the top of their landscaping timbers on a raised bed to keep out geese and the like.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘He was sedated and the bandages were stapled onto him, all different kinds of dressings over different parts of his body,’ said Mrs Bland.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

staple

/ˈsteɪp(ə)l/

Main definitions of staple in English

: staple1staple2

staple2

noun

  • 1A main or important element of something.

    ‘bread, milk, and other staples’
    ‘Greek legend was the staple of classical tragedy’
    • ‘In some countries they are a staple like beans or potatoes, but in this country, we most frequently come across them in their disguised form in a bowl of hummus.’
    • ‘The storyline behind Infestation depicts the routine sci-fi staple of aliens at war with mankind.’
    • ‘‘She's the patron saint of the little black dress,’ avers Holman Edelman, author of a book devoted to this fashion staple.’
    • ‘In my previous life as a carnivore the pork pie was an essential staple in my nutritional landscape.’
    • ‘Tanker started a series of Sunday morning shows at the Deluxe Cinema, a concept that became a 1960s entertainment staple.’
    • ‘They'd put their cash in a pool and load up on staples like ground beef, carrots and onions at stores offering the premium specials.’
    • ‘You can quickly make some space by hanging a few wire baskets over the counter, where cooking staples like garlic, onions, tomatoes can be stored and are easily at hand.’
    • ‘Coffee still seems to be the main staple with a small sandwich or salad on the side.’
    • ‘I love eggs benedict, but have tasted better in countless roadside diners in the States, where the dish is a breakfast staple.’
    • ‘While shark meat has become an important staple of some diets, in other cultures the animal holds a more special place on the menu.’
    • ‘Muktuk, or whale skin, and other fatty animal foods are important dietary staples in Arctic communities.’
    • ‘Sufficient supplies of wheat - an important staple for Afghans - have reached even the mountainous areas of the country.’
    • ‘Salads and meat became the main staple of their diet.’
    • ‘A decade later came rice cakes, a staple of the Japanese diet which took off when billed as low-calorie and low-fat snacks.’
    • ‘This old film, a staple of most elementary physics courses, has left an indelible impression on countless students over the years.’
    • ‘Its clouds of white lace cap flowers in summer and its purple foliage with drooping clusters of berries in autumn make it a winter garden staple.’
    • ‘The menu has a good selection of Italian staples, including seafood pasta and pizza, spaghetti carbonara, plain calzone and the tasty-sounding calzone kiev with chicken, mushroom and garlic.’
    • ‘The evening began with the staple of classical music diets - Bach.’
    • ‘Other main staples are feta cheese; roasted banana peppers; and zelnik, a flat pastry with cheese, leek, or spinach filling.’
    • ‘Bread, an important staple, is often purchased rather than home baked.’
    1. 1.1 A main item of trade or production.
      ‘rubber became the staple of the Malayan economy’
      • ‘Since fresh supplies of slaves were deemed essential even to maintain, let alone to expand, the production of tropical staples, West Africa was an integral part of the Atlantic commercial system.’
      • ‘First, the domestic production of food staples in developing countries was disrupted.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mineral wealth has been harvested from this region since ancient times, and amber from the Baltic area was a trade staple in ancient Europe.’
      • ‘Over 90 percent of the population of nearly one million in Manica Province is engaged in production of maize and sorghum staples on small parcels of land called machambas.’
      • ‘Rubber plantations became the staple of stock trading beginning in the second decade of the twentieth century.’
      • ‘In northern Mauritania, small swarms have already caused damage to the staple crops millet and sorghum, along with date palms and vegetables.’
      • ‘The staples of the trade between East and West were tropical goods impossible to produce in temperate Europe - pepper and spices, tea from China, coffee from Java, cotton from India.’
      • ‘This is true especially in industries producing raw materials and staples.’
      • ‘Ship's officers, who were permitted to speculate in Chinese goods, brought back all of the staples of the China trade plus personal souvenirs such as lacquerwares.’
      • ‘A key trend limiting real-terms growth in the major developed markets was the commodity status of staples such as milk, cheese and cream.’
      • ‘These planters devoted all of their arable land to the production of export staples.’
      • ‘Rice imports grew from virtually zero to 200,000 tonnes a year, at the expense of domestically produced staples.’
      • ‘BIT's four product groups are regularly demanded staples throughout the world.’
      • ‘Relaunching South Africa's mining industry and postwar administrative reform turned largely on the continued expansion of markets for food and commericial staples.’
  • 2mass 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’
    • ‘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.’
  • 3historical often with modifier A centre of trade, especially in a specified commodity.

    ‘proposals were made for a wool staple at Pisa’
    • ‘It is evident that the staple was primarily a fiscal organ of the crown, facilitating the collection of the royal customs.’

adjective

  • 1attributive Main or important, especially in terms of consumption.

    ‘the staple foods of the poor’
    figurative ‘violence is the staple diet of the video generation’
    • ‘The main staple foods served with Ghanaian meals are rice, millet, corn, cassava, yams, and plantains.’
    • ‘Importantly, the project will not involve actually changing diets, as sweet potato is already a staple food in the target area.’
    • ‘Mr Power said that despite health risks associated with obesity, many children were still being served a staple diet of processed food.’
    • ‘An avid newspaper man, his daily Irish Independent is part of his staple diet and he likes nothing better than to discuss the latest political situation.’
    • ‘He said that the ration used to consist of a number of staple foods, including rice, cooking oil, milk, and instant noodles.’
    • ‘Of course, the British consumers' interest in cod, the staple diet of the fish and chip shops that are so much a part of life in that nation, probably has an effect also.’
    • ‘Fedusa expressed concern that the prices of food forming the staple diet of the poor would be the first to be affected by new tariffs.’
    • ‘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 dead leaves sustain earthworms, small insects and other smaller life forms - which are the staple food for ground feeding birds.’
    • ‘Bread was the staple food in the Early Medieval diet.’
    • ‘Food is fairly basic out of the main centres of population, with black beans being the staple diet.’
    • ‘Zimbabwe will now rely on imports of staple food from Kenya, Brazil and South America, said state radio.’
    • ‘But what he cannot afford is an absolute shortage of the country's basic staple food; that would be a recipe for revolution.’
    • ‘Many of their staple food essentials were not even available in the Australian market until they grew imported seedlings in their own back gardens.’
    • ‘Wheat is the main crop and one of the staple foods.’
    • ‘Food was very basic with beans and rice being the staple diet.’
    • ‘The staple food of the Central African diet is cassava, which is a starchy root.’
    • ‘What was once ‘junk food’ is fast becoming the staple diet of many of the young.’
    • ‘For almost all Sierra Leoneans, rice is the staple food, consumed at virtually every meal.’
    • ‘Rice is a staple food in the diet of most Ivoirians.’
    main, principal, chief, major, primary, leading, foremost, first, most important, predominant, dominant, prominent, most prominent, key, crucial, vital, indispensable, essential, basic, fundamental, standard, critical, pivotal, prime, central, premier
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Most important in terms of trade or production.
      ‘rice was the staple crop grown in most villages’
      • ‘Cassava as a staple crop has several advantages: it is resilient to adverse weather conditions and is high in carbohydrates.’
      • ‘Above all, this meant plantation agriculture, producing staple crops for export with slave labour.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The organization of staple production - tobacco and cotton - in the formative years depended upon the labour of thousands of British indentured labourers.’
      • ‘Trade in staple commodities was already thriving and British merchants tried not to miss this opportunity.’
      • ‘Two other important staple crops are cassava and maize.’
      • ‘Until the colonists managed to cultivate a lucrative staple crop, however, profits were not immediately forthcoming.’
      • ‘The grass family Poaceae is highly diverse and contains 10,000 species, many of which are our most important staple crops.’
      • ‘Three, strengthening plant breeding programmes in developing countries for not only bananas but also other basic staple crops.’
      • ‘In turn, these Central American countries disbanded cultivation of staple crops like corn and bean, and have now become major importers and that too from the United States.’
      • ‘The price of wheat - France's staple crop - fell by a third between the 1870s and 1890s, putting many farmers out of business.’
      • ‘They were generally used in the cultivation of staple crops for purposes of long-distance trade.’
      • ‘The staple fish and main export of Icelanders since the fourteenth century has been cod.’
      • ‘Hexaploid common wheat is one of the most important staple crops globally.’
      • ‘The economy of colonial America grew rapidly because of sustained population growth and profitable cultivation of staple crops.’
      • ‘Cassava is one of the most important staple crops for farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.’
      • ‘In the north, wheat is likely to be one of the staple crops.’
      • ‘Critics contend that toxic herbicides are sprayed indiscriminately from above, hitting water supplies, staple crops, and people.’
      • ‘When potatoes became a staple crop in Ireland in the early 1600s, many home-distillers began using them as well as grains.’
      • ‘Floods and rogue waves raise the saltwater table underlying the atolls, poisoning the Tuvaluans' staple crops.’
      main, principal, chief, major, primary, leading, foremost, first, most important, predominant, dominant, prominent, most prominent, key, crucial, vital, indispensable, essential, basic, fundamental, standard, critical, pivotal, prime, central, premier
      View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

staple

/ˈsteɪp(ə)l/