See also: stałe, stále, and Ståle

English edit

Pronunciation edit

  • enPR: stāl, IPA(key): /steɪl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪl

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English stale, from Old French estale (settled, clear), but probably originally from Proto-Germanic *stāną (to stand): compare West Flemish stel in the same sense for ‘beer’ and ‘urine’.[1]

Adjective edit

stale (comparative staler, superlative stalest)

  1. (alcoholic beverages, obsolete) Clear, free of dregs and lees; old and strong.
    • 1637, John Taylor, The Famovs Historie of the most part of Drinks, in use now in the Kingdomes of Great Brittaine and Ireland:
      The stronger Beere is divided into two parts (viz.) mild and stale; the first may ease a man of a drought, but the later is like water cast into a Smiths forge, and breeds more heartburning, and as rust eates into Iron, so overstale Beere gnawes auletholes in the entrales, or else my skill failes, and what I have written of it is to be held as a jest.
    • 1826, A Practical Man, The Vintner's, Brewer's, Spirit Merchant's, and Licensed Victualler's Guide, page 243:
      Particular care must be taken that the stale beer in which the isinglass is dissolved be perfectly clear and stale.
    • 1829, David Booth, The Art of Brewing, page 52:
      Is not that hard or stale beer mixed to give the porter the appearance of age at once, which formerly was allowed to be matured by time?
  2. No longer fresh, in reference to food, urine, straw, wounds, etc.
    • 1530, John Palsgrave, L'éclaircissement de la langue française[1], 325 2:
      Stale as breed or drinke is, rassis. Stale as meate is that begynneth to savoure, viel.
    • c. 1550, Wyll of Deuill, C 2 b:
      New freshe blood to ouersprinkle their stale mete that it may seme...newly kylled.
    • 2012, Stephen Woodworth, In Golden Blood: Number 3 in series:
      To her surprise, Abe did not come to collect her for the usual morning inhabitation session with Azure. She did not see him until almost noon, when he personally delivered lunch to her tent. Another stale roll and cup of water sat on the tray he carried. Abe hung his head, as abashed as Honorato had been. “This is all I could sneak in for now. I'll try to get more later.”
  3. No longer fresh, new, or interesting, in reference to ideas and immaterial things; clichéd, hackneyed, dated.
    • 1562, Proverbs & Epigrams, J. Heywood, published 1867, section 95:
      Better is...be it new or stale, A harmelesse lie, than a harmefull true tale.
    • 1579, in G. Harvey, letter book, 60:
      Doist thou smyle to reade this stale and beggarlye stuffe.
    • c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene ii], line 133:
      How wary, stale, flat, and vnprofitable Seeme to me all the vses of this world?
    • 1822 March, Charles Lamb, London Magazine, 284 1:
      A two-days-old newspaper. You resent the stale thing as an affront.
    • 2002, Mark Lawson, And They Rose Up: Days of Retribution:
      Rick would comment on the fact that he'd never had such bad coffee, not even the mud at his precinct. Mark would tell him to quit with the stale joke, already
  4. (obsolete) No longer nubile or suitable for marriage, in reference to people; past one's prime.
    • c. 1580, J. Jeffere, Bugbears, I ii 108:
      Rosimunda...hathe an vncle a stale batcheler.
    • 1742, T. Short, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 42 226:
      In barren Women, and stale Maids, Tapping should be very cautiously undertaken.
  5. (in general) Not new or recent; having been in place or in effect for some time.
    • 2014, David L. Hough, Street Strategies for Motorcyclists:
      In most states, you can be ticketed for failing to clear the intersection, even if you are hemmed in by traffic. One good clue to a stale green light is the pedestrian signal.
  6. (agriculture, obsolete) Fallow, in reference to land.
    • 1764, Museum Rusticum, II 306:
      Lime would do very little or no good on stale ploughed lands.
  7. (law) Unreasonably long in coming, in reference to claims and actions.
    a stale affidavit
    a stale demand
    • 1769, William Blackstone, Common Laws of England, IV xv 211:
      The jury will rarely give credit to a stale complaint.
  8. Worn out, particularly due to age or over-exertion, in reference to athletes and animals in competition.
    • 1856, “Stonehenge”, in Manual of British Rural Sports, II i vi §7 335:
      By this means the [horse's] legs are not made more stale than necessary.
    • 1885 May 28, Truth, 853 2:
      Dame Agnes will probably be stale after her exertions in the Derby.
  9. (finance) Out of date, unpaid for an unreasonable amount of time, particularly in reference to checks.
    • 1901, Business Terms & Phrases, second edition, 199:
      Stale cheque,...a cheque which has remained unpaid for some considerable time.
  10. (computing) Of data: out of date; not synchronized with the newest copy.
    The bug was found to be caused by stale data in the cache.
Usage notes edit

In the sense regarding food, usually (but not always) pejorative and synonymous with gone bad and turned. In reference to mead, wine, and bread, it can describe an acceptable or desired state (see crouton). In modern English, however, "stale beer" has been light struck, flat, or oxidized and is to be avoided.

Synonyms edit
Antonyms edit
Derived terms edit
Related terms edit
Translations edit

Noun edit

stale (plural stales)

  1. (colloquial) Something stale; a loaf of bread or the like that is no longer fresh.
    • 1874, Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd, II iii 39:
      I went to Riggs's batty-cake shop, and asked 'em for a penneth of the cheapest and nicest stales, that were all but blue-mouldy, but not quite.
    • 1937, George Orwell, Road to Wigan Pier, I i 15:
      Frayed-looking sweet-cakes...bought as ‘stales’ from the baker.

Verb edit

stale (third-person singular simple present stales, present participle staling, simple past and past participle staled)

  1. (of alcohol, obsolete, transitive) To make stale; to age in order to clear and strengthen (a drink, especially beer).
    • c. 1440, Promp. Parv., 472 1:
      Stalyn, or make stale drynke, defeco.
    • 1826, Art of Brewing, second edition, 106:
      A stock of old porter should be kept, sufficient for staling the consumption of twelve months.
  2. (transitive) To make stale; to cause to go out of fashion or currency; to diminish the novelty or interest of, particularly by excessive exposure or consumption.
  3. (intransitive) To become stale; to grow odious from excessive exposure or consumption.
    • 1717, E. Erskine, Serm. in Wks., 50 1:
      They have got so much of Christ as to be staled of his company.
    • 1893, “Q”, in Delectable Duchy, section 325:
      Philanthropy was beginning to stale.
    • 1990, Stephen King, The Moving Finger:
      Vi's penchant for puns had struck him as cute when he first met her, but it had staled somewhat over the years.
  4. (alcoholic beverages, intransitive) To become stale; to grow unpleasant from age.
    • 1742, W. Ellis, London & Country Brewer, 4th edition, I 64:
      The Drink from that Time flattens and stales.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English stale, from Old English stalu, from Proto-Germanic *stal-; compare English stell from this root. The development was paralleled by the ablaut which became English steal, from Middle English stele, from Old English stela, from Proto-Germanic *stel-. Both are from the same Proto-Indo-European root *stel-, *stol- (to place, establish),[2] whence also Ancient Greek στελεός (steleós, handle). See also English stele.

Noun edit

stale (plural stales)

  1. A long, thin handle (of rakes, axes, etc.)
    • 1742, W. Ellis, London & Country Brewer, 4th edition, I 61:
      In Case your Cask is a Butt,...have ready boiling...Water, which put in, and, with a long Stale and a little Birch fastened to its End, scrub the Bottom.
    • 1890 February 4, Manchester Guardian, 12 3:
      You came to me with the axe head in one hand and the stale in the other.
  2. (dialectal) One of the posts or uprights of a ladder.
    • 1887, W. D. Parish et al., Kentish Dial.:
      Stales, the staves, or risings of a ladder, or the staves of a rack in a stable.
    • 1891, T. E. Smith, The Nova Scotia Fruit Grower, page 72:
      Fruit ladders should be provided beforehand. They differ from the ordinary ladder by having the bottom rungs a little longer and the top of the side stales meeting together so is to rest in the fork of a limb.
    • 1971, Research Paper - Issues 141-155, page 7:
      The zigzag determines the order of the currents from [1] which occur on the stales of the ladder and their relation with the currents from [0] which occur on the rungs and ringles between them.
  3. One of the rungs on a ladder.
    • 1792, Thomas Paine, A Rod in Brine, or a tickler for T. Paine, page 16:
      To begin then: not long before this paragraph was written, P fell into doze, and dreamt, he saw Jacob's ladder with one foot standing on the earth, the other reaching up into heaven. Dukes, Marquisses, and other Peers, fancy represented to him, as standing on the upper stales; on the middle ones, Knights and Baronets, and under them, a train of Esquires and Gentlemen, reaching to the bottom.
    • 1834, Joseph Adshead, A Circumstantial Narrative of the Wreck of the Rothsay, page 236:
      Mr. Marsden managed, by dint of swimming, to come in contact with the form, to which hemself and friend had previously fixed the cord and thrown overboard; but this, from its shape, would have proved, in all probability, but a doubtful means of escape, had he not, after a time, fallen in with a small ladder, which he affixed with the cord to the form, placing his leg between the stales, and resting his body, sometimes at full length, when the breakers had fallen on the form.
    • 1914, Archaeologia Cantiana - Volume 30, page 173:
      The rental of the lands remained at these figures for many years, and the following extracts are examples of the payments made:— A.D. 1686, Utt, pd Thomas Rassel for a load of lime delivered to Smalhith Chappell 01₤ 11s. 0d. Itt . for a quire of paper 00₤ 00s. 06d. Itt . for a ladder for the use of the Chappel 33 stales long , at 2d ye stale 00₤ 05s. 6d.
    • 1998, Barney Edward Daley, Tobacco Parish: A Collection of South Windsor's Memories:
      Ash was used for stales (ladder rungs).
    • 2014, Matthew Engel, Engel's England: Thirty-nine counties, one capital and one man:
      As a young man Mike Austen, a retired farmer now working as a guide at Brogdale, used to climb up a ladder with sixty 'stales', or rungs – eight inches between each of them – to pick the cherries in his father's orchard with a basket tied to either his waist or the ladder.
  4. (botany, obsolete) The stem of a plant.
  5. The shaft of an arrow, spear, etc.
    • 1553, Q. Curtius Rufus, translated by J. Brende, Hist., section IX:
      The Surgians cut of the stale of that shaft in suche wise, that they moued not the heade that was wythin the fleshe.
    • c. 1611, Homer, translated by G. Chapman, Iliad, IV 173:
      ...seeing th'arrowes stale without.
Alternative forms edit
Synonyms edit
  • handle (grip of tools, generally)
  • haft (grip of tools, generally, and especially of axes)
  • helve (grip of tools, generally)
  • shaft (body of arrows, spears, etc.)
  • snath, the shaft of a scythe
  • stem (plants)
Translations edit

Verb edit

stale (third-person singular simple present stales, present participle staling, simple past and past participle staled)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To make a ladder by joining rungs ("stales") between the posts.
    • 1492, Archæol. Cant., XVI 304:
      For stalyng of the ladders of the Churche xx d.

Etymology 3 edit

From Middle English stale, from Old French estal (place, something placed) (compare French étal), from Frankish stal,[3] from Proto-Germanic *stallaz, earlier *staþlaz. Related to stall and stand.

Noun edit

stale (plural stales)

  1. (military, obsolete) A fixed position, particularly a soldier's in a battle-line.
    • 1550, Edward Halle, The Vnion of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre and Yorke:
      Wherefore they had a great avauntage, but in coclusion thie french menne were slayne, and their horses taken, and so the lyght horsement came wyth their catail, nere to the embushment, and the frenchimen folowed, that seyng the englyshmen that kept the stale, came in al hast & rescued their light horsemen, and draue the frenchemen backe, & then made returne to their beastes
    • 1808, Raphael Holinshed, Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland, page 580:
      All these in great hast came to Newnam bridge, where they found other Englishmen that had woone the bridge of the Frenchmen, and so all togither set foward to assaile the Frenchmen that kept the stale, and tarie till the residue of their companie which were gone a forraging vnto Calis walles were come: for the other that had spoiled the marishes were returned with a great bootie.
    • 1818, William Stopford Kenny, Practical Chess Exercises, page 205:
      You cannot take the queen without giving a stale, therefore you lose the game.
  2. (chess, uncommon) A stalemate; a stalemated game.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, Essays, section 65:
      They stand at a stay; Like a Stale at Chesse, where it is no Mate, but yet the Game cannot stirre.
  3. (military, obsolete) An ambush.
    • 1513, Virgil, translated by G. Douglas, Æneid, XI x 96:
      It is a stelling place and sovir harbry, Quhar ost in staill or embuschment may ly.
    • 1577, R. Holinshed, Chron, II 1479 2:
      The erle of Essex...with .ii. C. speares was layde in a stale, if the Frenchmen had come neerer.
  4. (obsolete) A band of armed men or hunters.
    • c. 1540, H. Boece, translated by J. Bellenden, Hyst. & Cron. Scotl., XII xvi 184:
      The staill past throw the wod with sic noyis...yat all the bestis wer rasit fra thair dennys.
    • 1577, R. Holinshed, Hist. Scotl., 471 2 in Chron., I:
      The Lard of Drunlanrig lying al thys while in ambush...forbare to breake out to gyue anye charge vppon his enimies, doubting least the Earle of Lennox hadde kept a stale behynde.
  5. (Scotland, military, obsolete) The main force of an army.
    • 1532, State Papers Henry VIII, published 1836, IV 626:
      Neveryeles I knaw asweill by Englisemen as Scottishmen that their stale was no les then thre thowsand men.
Derived terms edit

Adjective edit

stale (not comparable)

  1. (chess, obsolete) At a standstill; stalemated.
    • c. 1470, Ashmolean MS 344, 21:
      Then drawith he & is stale.

Verb edit

stale (third-person singular simple present stales, present participle staling, simple past and past participle staled)

  1. (chess, uncommon, transitive) To stalemate.
    • c. 1470, Ashmole MS 344, 7:
      He shall stale þe black kyng in the pointe þer the crosse standith.
    • 1903, H. J. R. Murray, Brit. Chess. Mag., section 283:
      In China, however, a player who stales his opponent's King, wins the game.
  2. (chess, obsolete, intransitive) To be stalemated.
    • 1597, A. Montgomerie, Cherrie & Slae, section 202:
      For vnder cuire I got sik check, that I micht neither muife nor neck, bot ather stale or mait.

Etymology 4 edit

Noun from Middle English stale, from Anglo-Norman estal (urine), from Middle Dutch stal (urine). Cognate with Middle Low German stal (horse urine; bowel movement). Verb from Middle English stalen, from Old French estaler (urinate), related to Middle High German stallen (to piss).[4]

Noun edit

stale (uncountable)

  1. (livestock, obsolete) Urine, especially used of horses and cattle.
    • 1535, the Bible, translated by Miles Coverdale, Isaiah, XXXVI.100:
      [] That they be not compelled to eate their owne donge, and drinke their owne stale with you?
    • 1548, Robert Record, Vrinal of Physick, XI.89:
      The stale of Camels and Goats [] is good for them that have the dropsie.
    • 1583, B. Melbancke, Philotimus:
      Or annoint thy selfe with the stale of a mule.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 48, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes [], book I, London: [] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], →OCLC:
      Those of Crotta being hardly besieged by Metellus, were reduced to so hard a pinch, and strait necessitie of all manner of other beverage, that they were forced to drinke the stale or urine of their horses.
    • c. 1606–1607, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene iv], line 62:
      Thou did'st drinke The stale of Horses.
    • 1698, J. Fryer, New Acct. E.-India & Persia, page 242:
      Mice and Weasels by their poysonous Stale infect the Trees so, that they produce Worms.
    • 1733, W. Ellis, Chiltern & Vale Farming, page 122:
      Sheep, whose Dung and Stale is of most Virtue in the Nourishment of all Trees.
Hypernyms edit
Derived terms edit

Verb edit

stale (third-person singular simple present stales, present participle staling, simple past and past participle staled)

  1. (livestock, obsolete, intransitive) To urinate, especially used of horses and cattle.
    • 15th century, Lawis Gild, X in Ancient Laws and Customs of the Burghs of Scotland, 68:
      Gif ony stal in the yet of the gilde...he sall gif iiijd. to the mendis.
    • 1530, John Palsgrave, L'éclaircissement de la langue française[2], 732 1:
      Tary a whyle, your hors wyll staale.
    • 1614 November 10 (first performance; Gregorian calendar), Beniamin Iohnson [i.e., Ben Jonson], Bartholmew Fayre: A Comedie, [], London: [] I[ohn] B[eale] for Robert Allot, [], published 1631, →OCLC, Act I, scene iv, page 8:
      Why a pox o' your boxe, once againe: let your little wife stale in it, and she will.
    • 1663, T. Killigrew, Parson's Wedding, I iii:
      I wonder [the knight's son] doth not go on all four too, and hold up his Leg when he stales.
    • 1903, Rudyard Kipling, Five Nations, section 150:
      Cattle-dung where fuel failed; Water where the mules had staled; And sackcloth for their raiment.
    • c. 1920, Aleister Crowley, Leigh Sublime:
      You stale like a mare
      And fart as you stale
    • 1928, Siegfried Sassoon, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, Penguin, published 2013, page 35:
      A mile or two before we got to the meet he stopped at an inn, where he put our horses into the stable for twenty minutes, ‘to give them a chance to stale’.
Usage notes edit

Occasionally transitive, when in reference to horses or men pissing blood.

Hypernyms edit
See also edit

Etymology 5 edit

From Middle English stale (bird used as a decoy), probably from uncommon Anglo-Norman estale (pigeon used to lure hawks), ultimately from Proto-Germanic, probably *standaną (to stand). Compare Old English stælhran (decoy reindeer) and Northumbrian stællo (catching fish).[5]

Noun edit

stale (plural stales)

  1. (falconry, hunting, obsolete) A live bird to lure birds of prey or others of its kind into a trap.
    • 1579, Thomas North, “Sylla”, in Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, section 515:
      Like vnto the fowlers, that by their stales draw other birdes into their nets.
    • 1608, Ludovico Ariosto, translated by R. Tofte, Satyres, IV 56:
      A wife thats more then faire is like a stale, Or chanting whistle which brings birds to thrall.
  2. (obsolete) Any lure, particularly in reference to people used as live bait.
    • c. 1529, "The Tunnyng of Elynour Rummyng", 324, in John Skelton, Certayne Bokes:
      She ran in all the hast
      Vnbrased and vnlast...
      It was a stale to take
      the deuyll in a brake.
    • 1577, Raphael Holinshed, “The Historie of England, from the Time that It Was First Inhabited, Vntill the Time that It Was Last Conquered”, in Chronicles, 79 2:
      The Britaynes woulde oftentimes...lay their Cattell...in places conueniente, to bee as a stale to the Romaynes, and when the Romaynes shoulde make to them to fetche the same away,...they would fall vpon them.
    • 1579, J. Stubbs, Discouerie Gaping Gulf:
      Her daughter Margerit was the stale to lure...them that otherwise flewe hyghe...and could not be gotten.
    • 1615, George Sandys, A Relation of a Iourney begun An: Dom: 1610, I 66:
      ...many of the Coffamen keeping beaytifull boyes, who ſerue as ſtales to procure them cuſtomers.
    • 1670, J. Eachard, Grounds Contempt of Clergy, section 88:
      Six-pence or a shilling to put into the Box, for a stale to decoy in the rest of the Parish.
  3. (crime, obsolete) An accomplice of a thief or criminal acting as bait.
    • 1526, W. Bonde, Pylgrimage of Perfection, section III:
      Their mynisters, be false bretherne or false sustern, stales of the deuyll.
    • 1633, S. Marmion, Fine Compan., III iv:
      This is Captain Whibble, the Towne stale, For all cheating imployments.
  4. (obsolete) a partner whose beloved abandons or torments him in favor of another.
  5. (obsolete) A patsy, a pawn, someone used under some false pretext to forward another's (usu. sinister) designs; a stalking horse.
    • 1580, E. Grindal in 1710, J. Strype, Hist. E. Grindal, 252:
      That of the two nominated, one should be an unfit Man, and as it were a Stale, to bring the Office to the other.
    • c. 1591–1592 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Third Part of Henry the Sixt, []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene iii], line 260:
      Had he none else to make a stale but me?
    • 1614, W. Raleigh, Hist. World, I iv iii §19 239:
      Eurydice...meaning nothing lesse than to let her husband serue as a Stale, keeping the throne warme till another were growne old enough to sit in it.
    • 1711, J. Puckle, Club, section 20:
      A pretence of kindness is the universal stale to all base projects.
  6. (crime, obsolete) A prostitute of the lowest sort; any wanton woman.
    • 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene ii], line 23:
      Spare not to tell him, that he hath wronged his honor in marrying the renowned Claudio...to a contaminated stale.
    • 1606, S. Daniel, Queenes Arcadia, II i:
      But to be leaft for such a one as she, The stale of all, what will folke thinke of me?
    • c. 1641, Ralph Montagu, Acts & Monuments, section 265:
      ...detesting as he said the insatiable impudency of a prostitute Stale.
  7. (hunting, obsolete) Any decoy, either stuffed or manufactured.
    • 1681, J. Flavell, Method of Grace, XXXV 588:
      'Tis the living bird that makes the best stale to draw others into the net.
    • 1888, G. M. Fenn, Dick o' the Fens, section 53:
      If my live birds aren't all drownded and my stales spoiled.

Verb edit

stale (third-person singular simple present stales, present participle staling, simple past and past participle staled)

  1. (rare, obsolete, transitive) To serve as a decoy, to lure.
    • 1557, Tottel's Misc., section 198:
      The eye...Doth serue to stale her here and there where she doth come and go.

References edit

  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. "Stale, adj. 1" & "n. 7".
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. "Stale, n. 2" & "v. 4".
  3. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. "Stale, n. 4", "n. 6", "v. 3", and "adj. 2".
  4. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. "Stale, n. 5" and "v. 1".
  5. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. "Stale, n. 3" & "v. 5".

Anagrams edit

Friulian edit

Etymology edit

Of Germanic origin, ultimately from Proto-Germanic *stallaz. Compare Romansch stalla, stala, Italian stalla, Venetian stała.

Noun edit

stale f (plural stalis)

  1. cowshed
  2. stable, stall
  3. pigsty

Synonyms edit

Middle English edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Anglo-Norman estal (urine).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

stale (uncountable)

  1. (Late Middle English, hapax) urine
    • 14th c., Stockh. Medical MS. in Anglia XVIII.299:
      In werd ben men & women [] þat þer stale mown not holde.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
Descendants edit
  • English: stale
  • Yola: sthall
References edit

Etymology 2 edit

From Old English stalu (theft), from Proto-Germanic *stalō.[1]

Alternative forms edit

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

stale (plural stales)

  1. theft; the act of stealing
    • 1340, Ayenbite, section 9:
      Ine þise heste is vorbode roberie, þiefþe, stale, and gavel.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
  2. stealth (used in the phrase bi stale)
    • c. 1240, “Sawles Warde”, in Cott. Hom., section 249:
      Hire wune is to cumen bi stale...hwen me least cweneð.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
References edit
  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. "Stale, n. 1".

Etymology 3 edit

From Old English stalu (a piece of wood into which a harp-string is fixed).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

stale (plural stales)

  1. An upright of a ladder.
  2. A rung in a ladder; tier.
  3. The posts and rungs composing a ladder.
  4. A long, thin handle (of rakes, axes, etc.)
    • 12th century, Sidonius Glosses in Anecd. Oxon., I v 59 22:
      Ansae et ansulae alicuius rei sunt illa eminentia in illa re per quam capi possit .i. ‘stale’.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
    • c. 1393, Langland, Piers Plowman (Vesp. MS), C xxii 279:
      And lerede men a ladel bygge with a long stale.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
  5. A shoot of a plant.
Related terms edit
Descendants edit

References edit

Etymology 4 edit

Borrowed from Old French estal, from Frankish stal, from Proto-Germanic *stallaz, earlier *staþlaz.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

stale

  1. a fixed position, particularly a soldier's in a battle-line
  2. (chess) A stalemate; a stalemated game.
    • 1423, Kingis Quair, section CLXIX:
      ‘Off mate?’ quod sche...‘thou has fundin stale This mony day’.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
  3. an ambush
  4. a band of armed men or hunters
    • c. 1350, in N. H. Nicolas, Hist. Royal Navy (1847), II 491:
      [Every time that it shall be ordered..that armed men..shall land on the enemy's coast to seek victuals... then there shall be ordained a sufficient ‘stale’ of armed men and archers who shall wait together on the land until the ‘forreiours’ return to them].
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
    • 14th century, Morte Arthur, 1355:
      [Gawayne] sterttes owtte to hys stede, and with his stale wendes.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
Descendants edit
References edit

Etymology 5 edit

Probably from uncommon Anglo-Norman estale (pigeon used to lure hawks), ultimately from Proto-Germanic, probably *standaną (to stand).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

stale

  1. (falconry, hunting) A live bird to lure birds of prey or others of its kind into a trap
Descendants edit
References edit

Etymology 6 edit

Borrowed from Old French estale (settled, clear), probably connected to Proto-Germanic *stāną (to stand).

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

stale

  1. (alcoholic beverages) clear, free of dregs and lees; old and strong
Descendants edit
References edit

Etymology 7 edit

From stale (stalemate) or stalen (to stalemate).

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

stale

  1. (hapax) Stalemated in chess.
References edit

Old Polish edit

Etymology edit

From stały +‎ -e. First attested in 1484.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): (10th–15th CE) /stalʲɛ/
  • IPA(key): (15th CE) /stalʲɛ/

Adverb edit

stale

  1. always, persistently
    • 1892 [1484], Hieronim Łopaciński, editor, Reguła trzeciego zakonu św. Franciszka i drobniejsze zabytki języka polskiego z końca w. XV i początku XVI[3], page 705:
      Chcze, aby ony tho yego synovye, thą tho vyarą zsthalye vyznavaly a mocznye trzymaly
      [Chce, aby oni to jego synowie, tę to wiarę stale wyznawali a mocnie trzymali]

Descendants edit

References edit

Polish edit

Pronunciation edit

Etymology 1 edit

Inherited from Old Polish stale. By surface analysis, stały +‎ -e. Compare Kashubian stale.

Adverb edit

stale (not comparable)

  1. constantly, continually
    Synonyms: bez ustanku, bezustannie, ciągle, furt, na okrągło, nieprzerwanie, nieustająco, nieustannie, ustawicznie, wciąż, wiecznie, zawsze
    Antonym: nigdy
  2. (obsolete) permanently, for good
    Synonyms: na dobre, na stałe
  3. (obsolete) decidedly
    Synonym: stanowczo

Etymology 2 edit

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Noun edit

stale

  1. nominative/accusative/vocative plural of stal

Trivia edit

According to Słownik frekwencyjny polszczyzny współczesnej (1990), stale is one of the most used words in Polish, appearing 20 times in scientific texts, 4 times in news, 25 times in essays, 10 times in fiction, and 8 times in plays, each out of a corpus of 100,000 words, totaling 67 times, making it the 974th most common word in a corpus of 500,000 words.[1]

References edit

  1. ^ Ida Kurcz (1990), “stale”, in Słownik frekwencyjny polszczyzny współczesnej [Frequency dictionary of the Polish language] (in Polish), volume 2, Kraków; Warszawa: Polska Akademia Nauk. Instytut Języka Polskiego, page 556

Further reading edit

Silesian edit

Etymology edit

Inherited from Old Polish stały. By surface analysis, stały +‎ -e.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈstalɛ/
  • Rhymes: -alɛ
  • Syllabification: sta‧le

Adverb edit

stale (not comparable)

  1. constantly, continually

Further reading edit