Stain. n.s. [from the verb.]
- Blot; spot; discoloration.
Nor death itself can wholly wash their stains;
But long contracted filth ev'n in the soul remains:
The reliques of inveterate vice they wear,
And spots of sin. Dryden's Æn.
We no where meet with a more pleasing show than what appears in the heavens at the rising and setting of the sun, which is wholly made up of those different stains of light that shew themselves in clouds of a different situation. Addison.
Swift trouts diversify'd with crimson stains,
And pikes, the tyrants of the wat'ry plains. Pope.
- Taint of guilt or infamy.
To solemn actions of royalty and justice their suitable ornaments are a beauty: are they only in religion a stain? Hooker.
Our opinion, concerning the force and virtue which such places have, is, I trust, without any blemish or stain of heresy. Hooker.
Then heav'n and earth renew'd, shall be made pure
To sanctity, that shall receive no stain. Milton's Par. Lost.
Ulysses bids his friends to cast lots; for if he had made the choice himself, they whom he had rejected might have judged it a stain upon them for want of merit. Broome.
- Cause of reproach; shame.
Hereby I will lead her that is the praise, and yet the stain of all womankind. Sidney.