Definition of Staple

Sta´ple   Pronunciation: stā´p'l
n.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.
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.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 shaft, smaller and shorter than the principal one, joining different levels.
10.A district granted to an abbey.
a.1.Pertaining to, or being a market or staple for, commodities; as, a staple town.
2.Established in commerce; occupying the markets; settled; as, a staple trade.
3.Fit to be sold; marketable.
4.Regularly produced or manufactured in large quantities; belonging to wholesale traffic; principal; chief.
Wool, the great staple commodity of England.
- Hallam.
v. t.1.To sort according to its staple; as, to staple cotton.
[imp. & p. p. stapled (-p'ld); p. pr. & vb. n. stapling.]
2.To fasten together with a staple{9} or staples; as, to staple a check to a letter.

Related Words

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