Bread. Milk. Gasoline. Xboxes. What do these all have in common? They’re all a staple of most people’s consumption — basic products for which there will always be a demand.

Staple also has the broader more abstract sense of being anything that’s popular or necessary. A staple of the political scene is partisan bickering; a staple of Broadway theater is the musical revival. And let’s not forget another meaning — those handy little metal clasps that hold things together. Though most people wouldn’t consider a staple a staple.

Definitions of staple
  1. noun

    material suitable for manufacture or use or finishing

    raw material
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    the raw material that is required for some industrial process
    type of:

    material, stuff

    the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object

  2. noun

    (usually plural) a necessary commodity for which demand is constant

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    type of:

    commodity, good, trade good

    articles of commerce

  3. noun

    a natural fiber (raw cotton, wool, hemp, flax) that can be twisted to form yarn

    staple fibers vary widely in length”
    staple fiber, staple fibre
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    type of:

    natural fiber, natural fibre

    fiber derived from plants or animals

  4. adjective

    necessary or important, especially regarding food or commodities

    “wheat is a
    staple crop”


    basic and fundamental
  5. noun

    a short U-shaped wire nail for securing cables

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    type of:


    a thin pointed piece of metal that is hammered into materials as a fastener

  6. noun

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

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    type of:

    paper fastener

    a fastener for holding a sheet of paper in place

  7. verb

    secure or fasten with a staple or staples

    staple the papers together”
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    take the staples off
    type of:

    fasten, fix, secure

    cause to be firmly attached

Word Family