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.

    • ‘Packages may be secured with a single piece of tape or glue, but do not use staples.’
    • ‘You will find that this magnet is able to pick up small steel things like paper clips, staples and thumb tacks.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the lesson didn't do anything to advance my quest to burgle paperclips and staples from my fellow office pool participants.’
    • ‘The book was still held together by three staples.’
    • ‘And instead of staples, clips snap onto the tracks to lock the tiles in place.’
    • ‘These make great places to store nails, screws, nut, bolts, washers, tacks, and staples.’
    • ‘Every night I opened it wide to the center, exposing the three metal staples securing the pages.’
    • ‘There's no glue, no staples, no nails involved.’
    • ‘Add pens, pencils, notepads, stickers, boxes of staples and paperclips.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In this instance, the controls were so loose that they were able to simply remove the staples sealing the envelope and peek inside.’
    • ‘These include paper clips, thumbtacks, staples, pens, and Post-it Notes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I even removed the staples from memos before depositing them in the paper bin.’
    • ‘If you use a staple to keep the pages together instead of a binder, you may just have a good or great requirements document.’
    • ‘You don't have to wait long, and you can bind the results with a paperclip or a staple.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The stapled editions were limited to 240 pages simply because they don't make staples long enough to hold together anything larger.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 A U-shaped metal bar with pointed ends for driving into wood to hold things such as wires in place.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Once it was half secured, Adam would get another grip on the wire and pull it tighter while Joe finished nailing in the staple.’
      • ‘A variety of staples are available for soft and hard wood.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For each operation there were over 40 staples sealing the incision.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Pin them down with U-shaped wire staples and cover with soil or mulch.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They put these steel staples in and pulled the meat together.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Attach or secure with a staple or staples:

    ‘Merrill stapled a batch of papers together’
    • ‘Participants in the campaign are collecting signed protest letters and stapling them to clean diapers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They're stapling postage stamps to envelopes!’
    • ‘Two days later, I stapled the receipt to the rebate offer, put it in an envelope, and mailed it off to Future Shop.’
    • ‘‘He was sedated and the bandages were stapled onto him, all different kinds of dressings over different parts of his body,’ said Mrs Bland.’
    • ‘Each page of the book is stapled or tacked to cork boards in four different buildings on campus.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Chicken wire had been stapled across the hole with a small gap left at the bottom.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘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.’

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’
    • ‘Bread, an important staple, is often purchased rather than home baked.’
    • ‘The evening began with the staple of classical music diets - Bach.’
    • ‘I love eggs benedict, but have tasted better in countless roadside diners in the States, where the dish is a breakfast staple.’
    • ‘Other main staples are feta cheese; roasted banana peppers; and zelnik, a flat pastry with cheese, leek, or spinach filling.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sufficient supplies of wheat - an important staple for Afghans - have reached even the mountainous areas of the country.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Tanker started a series of Sunday morning shows at the Deluxe Cinema, a concept that became a 1960s entertainment staple.’
    • ‘Salads and meat became the main staple of their diet.’
    • ‘‘She's the patron saint of the little black dress,’ avers Holman Edelman, author of a book devoted to this fashion staple.’
    • ‘A decade later came rice cakes, a staple of the Japanese diet which took off when billed as low-calorie and low-fat snacks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In my previous life as a carnivore the pork pie was an essential staple in my nutritional landscape.’
    • ‘This old film, a staple of most elementary physics courses, has left an indelible impression on countless students over the years.’
    • ‘Coffee still seems to be the main staple with a small sandwich or salad on the side.’
    • ‘Muktuk, or whale skin, and other fatty animal foods are important dietary staples in Arctic communities.’
    • ‘The storyline behind Infestation depicts the routine sci-fi staple of aliens at war with mankind.’
    • ‘While shark meat has become an important staple of some diets, in other cultures the animal holds a more special place on the menu.’
    1. 1.1 A main item of trade or production:
      ‘rubber became the staple of the Malayan economy’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is true especially in industries producing raw materials and staples.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In northern Mauritania, small swarms have already caused damage to the staple crops millet and sorghum, along with date palms and vegetables.’
      • ‘Rice imports grew from virtually zero to 200,000 tonnes a year, at the expense of domestically produced staples.’
      • ‘Mineral wealth has been harvested from this region since ancient times, and amber from the Baltic area was a trade staple in ancient Europe.’
      • ‘Rubber plantations became the staple of stock trading beginning in the second decade of the twentieth century.’
      • ‘Relaunching South Africa's mining industry and postwar administrative reform turned largely on the continued expansion of markets for food and commericial staples.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These planters devoted all of their arable land to the production of export staples.’
      • ‘A key trend limiting real-terms growth in the major developed markets was the commodity status of staples such as milk, cheese and cream.’
      • ‘BIT's four product groups are regularly demanded staples throughout the world.’
  • 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’
    • ‘For men, shirts in light shades are crafted from fine long staple yarn.’
    • ‘The long staple or long fiber of Egyptian-grown cotton means that there is more continuous fiber to use when creating threads or yarns.’
  • 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

  • 1[attributive] Main or important, especially in terms of consumption:

    ‘the staple foods of the poor’
    figurative ‘violence is the staple diet of the video generation’
    • ‘Many of their staple food essentials were not even available in the Australian market until they grew imported seedlings in their own back gardens.’
    • ‘For almost all Sierra Leoneans, rice is the staple food, consumed at virtually every meal.’
    • ‘The staple food of the Central African diet is cassava, which is a starchy root.’
    • ‘Bread was the staple food in the Early Medieval diet.’
    • ‘Zimbabwe will now rely on imports of staple food from Kenya, Brazil and South America, said state radio.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Wheat is the main crop and one of the staple foods.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The dead leaves sustain earthworms, small insects and other smaller life forms - which are the staple food for ground feeding birds.’
    • ‘Food is fairly basic out of the main centres of population, with black beans being the staple diet.’
    • ‘Rice is a staple food in the diet of most Ivoirians.’
    • ‘But what he cannot afford is an absolute shortage of the country's basic staple food; that would be a recipe for revolution.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The main staple foods served with Ghanaian meals are rice, millet, corn, cassava, yams, and plantains.’
    • ‘Food was very basic with beans and rice being the staple diet.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What was once ‘junk food’ is fast becoming the staple diet of many of the young.’
    • ‘He said that the ration used to consist of a number of staple foods, including rice, cooking oil, milk, and instant noodles.’
    main, principal, chief, major, primary, leading, foremost, first, most important, predominant, dominant, key, crucial, vital, indispensable, essential, basic, fundamental, standard, critical, pivotal, prime, central, premier
    number-one
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Most important in terms of trade or production:
      ‘rice was the staple crop grown in most villages’
      • ‘Hexaploid common wheat is one of the most important staple crops globally.’
      • ‘Above all, this meant plantation agriculture, producing staple crops for export with slave labour.’
      • ‘In the north, wheat is likely to be one of the staple crops.’
      • ‘When potatoes became a staple crop in Ireland in the early 1600s, many home-distillers began using them as well as grains.’
      • ‘The economy of colonial America grew rapidly because of sustained population growth and profitable cultivation of staple crops.’
      • ‘Cassava as a staple crop has several advantages: it is resilient to adverse weather conditions and is high in carbohydrates.’
      • ‘The staple fish and main export of Icelanders since the fourteenth century has been cod.’
      • ‘Two other important staple crops are cassava and maize.’
      • ‘Three, strengthening plant breeding programmes in developing countries for not only bananas but also other basic staple crops.’
      • ‘Trade in staple commodities was already thriving and British merchants tried not to miss this opportunity.’
      • ‘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 grass family Poaceae is highly diverse and contains 10,000 species, many of which are our most important staple crops.’
      • ‘The price of wheat - France's staple crop - fell by a third between the 1870s and 1890s, putting many farmers out of business.’
      • ‘Cassava is one of the most important staple crops for farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Until the colonists managed to cultivate a lucrative staple crop, however, profits were not immediately forthcoming.’
      • ‘Floods and rogue waves raise the saltwater table underlying the atolls, poisoning the Tuvaluans' staple crops.’
      • ‘The organization of staple production - tobacco and cotton - in the formative years depended upon the labour of thousands of British indentured labourers.’
      • ‘Critics contend that toxic herbicides are sprayed indiscriminately from above, hitting water supplies, staple crops, and people.’
      • ‘They were generally used in the cultivation of staple crops for purposes of long-distance trade.’
      main, principal, chief, major, primary, leading, foremost, first, most important, predominant, dominant, key, crucial, vital, indispensable, essential, basic, fundamental, standard, critical, pivotal, prime, central, premier
      number-one
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English (in staple): from Old French estaple market, from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch stapel pillar, emporium; related to staple.

Pronunciation:

staple

/ˈsteɪp(ə)l/