Staple Sta"ple (st[=a]"p'l), n. [AS. stapul, stapol, stapel, a step, a prop, post, table, fr. stapan to step, go, raise; akin to D. stapel a pile, stocks, emporium, G. stapela heap, mart, stake, staffel step of a ladder, Sw. stapel, Dan. stabel, and E. step; cf. OF. estaple a mart, F. ['e]tape. See {Step}.] 1. A settled mart; an emporium; a city or town to which merchants brought commodities for sale or exportation in bulk; a place for wholesale traffic. [1913 Webster]

The customs of Alexandria were very great, it having been the staple of the Indian trade. --Arbuthnot. [1913 Webster]

For the increase of trade and the encouragement of the worthy burgesses of Woodstock, her majesty was minded to erect the town into a staple for wool. --Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster]

Note: In England, formerly, the king's staple was established in certain ports or towns, and certain goods could not be exported without being first brought to these places to be rated and charged with the duty payable to the king or the public. The principal commodities on which customs were levied were wool, skins, and leather; and these were originally the staple commodities. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence: Place of supply; source; fountain head. [1913 Webster]

Whitehall naturally became the chief staple of news. Whenever there was a rumor that any thing important had happened or was about to happen, people hastened thither to obtain intelligence from the fountain head. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

3. The principal commodity of traffic in a market; a principal commodity or production of a country or district; as, wheat, maize, and cotton are great staples of the United States. [1913 Webster]

We should now say, Cotton is the great staple, that is, the established merchandise, of Manchester. --Trench. [1913 Webster]

4. The principal constituent in anything; chief item. [1913 Webster]

5. Unmanufactured material; raw material. [1913 Webster]

6. The fiber of wool, cotton, flax, or the like; as, a coarse staple; a fine staple; a long or short staple. [1913 Webster]

7. A loop of metal such as iron, or a bar or wire, bent and formed with two points to be driven into wood, to hold a hook, pin, or the like. [1913 Webster]

8. Specifically: A small loop of metal such as steel, bent into a U-shape with the points sharpened, used to fasten sheets of paper together by driving the staple[8] through the stacked sheets and into a formed receptacle which curls the ends in and backward, thus holding the papers firmly together; also, a similar, slightly larger such fastener which may be driven into wood to fasten objects to a wooden backing. [1913 Webster]

9. (Mining) (a) A shaft, smaller and shorter than the principal one, joining different levels. (b) A small pit. [1913 Webster]

10. A district granted to an abbey. [Obs.] --Camden. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • staple — Ⅰ. staple [1] ► NOUN 1) a small flattened U shaped piece of wire used to fasten papers together. 2) a small U shaped metal bar with pointed ends for driving into wood to hold things in place. ► VERB ▪ secure with a staple or staples. ORIGIN Old… …   English terms dictionary

  • staple — sta ple, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {stapled} ( p ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {stapling}.] 1. To sort according to its staple; as, to staple cotton. [1913 Webster] 2. To fasten together with a staple[9] or staples; as, to staple a check to a letter. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Staple — Sta ple, a. 1. Pertaining to, or being a market or staple for, commodities; as, a staple town. [R.] [1913 Webster] 2. Established in commerce; occupying the markets; settled; as, a staple trade. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 3. Fit to be sold;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • staple — staple1 [stā′pəl] n. [ME stapel < OFr estaple < MDu stapel, mart, emporium, post, orig. support, akin to STAPLE2] 1. the chief commodity, or any of the most important commodities, made, grown, or sold in a particular place, region, country …   English World dictionary

  • Staple — Stapel País …   Wikipedia Español

  • staple — index item, stock in trade Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • staple — [adj] necessary, basic chief, essential, fundamental, important, in demand, key, main, popular, predominant, primary, principal, standard; concept 546 Ant. auxiliary, extra, minor, secondary, unnecessary …   New thesaurus

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