4 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Staple \Sta"ple\ (st[=a]"p'l), noun [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.

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

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.

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.

2. Hence: Place of supply; source; fountain head.

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.

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.

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

4. The principal constituent in anything; chief item.

5. Unmanufactured material; raw material.

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

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.

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.

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

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

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Staple \Sta"ple\, adjective

1. Pertaining to, or being a market or staple for, commodities; as, a staple town. [R.]

2. Established in commerce; occupying the markets; settled; as, a staple trade. --Dryden.

3. Fit to be sold; marketable. [R.] --Swift.

4. Regularly produced or manufactured in large quantities; belonging to wholesale traffic; principal; chief.

Wool, the great staple commodity of England. --Hallam.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

staple \sta"ple\, verb (used with an object) [imp. & p. p. {stapled} (-p'ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {stapling}.]

1. To sort according to its staple; as, to staple cotton.

2. To fasten together with a staple[9] or staples; as, to staple a check to a letter. [PJC]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:



1: necessary or important, especially regarding food or commodities; "wheat is a staple crop"


1: (usually plural) a necessary commodity for which demand is constant [syn: {basic}, {staple}]

2: a natural fiber (raw cotton, wool, hemp, flax) that can be twisted to form yarn; "staple fibers vary widely in length" [syn: {staple}, {staple fiber}, {staple fibre}]

3: material suitable for manufacture or use or finishing [syn: {raw material}, {staple}]

4: a short U-shaped wire nail for securing cables

5: paper fastener consisting of a short length of U-shaped wire that can fasten papers together


1: secure or fasten with a staple or staples; "staple the papers together" [ant: {unstaple}]

1. Caduceus  2. Golden Key  3. Scales of Justice (Or maybe, 1. HEALTH 2. SECURITY 3. JUSTICE?)


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