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Meaning of staple

sta•ple

Pronunciation: (stā'pul), [key]
— n., v., -pled, -pling.
—n.
  1. a short piece of wire bent so as to bind together papers, sections of a book, or the like, by driving the ends through the sheets and clinching them on the other side.
  2. a similar, often-shaped piece of wire or metal with pointed ends for driving into a surface to hold a hasp, hook, pin, bolt, wire, or the like.
—v.t.
  1. to secure or fasten by a staple or staples: to staple three sheets together.

sta•ple

Pronunciation: (stā'pul), [key]
— n., adj., v., -pled, -pling.
—n.
  1. a principal raw material or commodity grown or manufactured in a locality.
  2. a principal commodity in a mercantile field; goods in steady demand or of known or recognized quality.
  3. a basic or necessary item of food: She bought flour, sugar, salt, and other staples.
  4. a basic or principal item, thing, feature, element, or part: Cowboy dramas are a staple on television.
  5. the fiber of wool, cotton, flax, rayon, etc., considered with reference to length and fineness.
  6. a standard length of textile fibers, representing the average of such fibers taken collectively, as short-staple or long-staple cotton.
  7. a town or place appointed by royal authority as the seat of a body of merchants having the exclusive right of purchase of certain classes of goods for export.
—adj.
  1. chief or prominent among the products exported or produced by a country or district; chiefly or largely dealt in or consumed.
  2. basic, chief, or principal: staple industries.
  3. principally used: staple subjects of conversation.
—v.t.
  1. to sort or classify according to the staple or fiber, as wool.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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