Dictionary: STAPH'Y-LINE – STARE

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STAPH'Y-LINE, a. [Gr. σταφυλη, a bunch of grapes.]

In mineralogy, having the form of a bunch of grapes; botryoidal. – Shepard.

STAPH-Y-LOR'A-PHY, n. [Gr. σταφυλη, and ραφη, a suture, from ραπτω.]

A surgical suture of the palate, for the purpose of uniting the edges of a fissure.


  1. Settled; established in commerce; as, a staple trade.
  2. According to the laws of commerce; marketable; fit to be sold. [Not much used.] – Swift.
  3. Chief; principal; regularly produced or made for market; as, staple commodities. [This is now the most general acceptation of the word.]

STA'PLE, n. [Sax. stapel, stapul, a stake; D. stapel, a pile, stocks, staple; stapelen, to pile; G. stapel, a stake, a pile or heap, a staple, stocks, a mart; Sw. stapel; Dan. stabel, staple; stabler, to pile; stabbe, a block or log; stab, a staff. We see this word is from the root of staff. The primary sense of the root is to set, to fix. Staple is that which fixed, or a fixed place, or it is a pile or store.]

  1. A settled mart or market; an emporium. In England, formerly, the king's staple was established in certain ports or towns, and certain goods could not be exported, without being first brought to these ports to be rated and charged with the duty payable to the king or public. The principal commodities on which customs were levied, were wool, skins and leather, and these were originally the staple commodities. Hence the words staple commodities, came it time to signify the principal commodities produced by a country for exportation or use. Thus cotton is the staple commodity of South Carolina, Georgia and other southern states of America. Wheat is the staple of Pennsylvania and New York.
  2. A city or town where merchants agree to carry certain commodities.
  3. The thread or pile of wool, cotton or flax. Thus we say this is wool of a coarse staple, or fine staple. In America, cotton is of a short staple, long staple, fine staple, &c. The cotton of short staple is raised on the upland; the sea-island cotton is of a fine long staple.
  4. [W. ystwfwl.] A loop of iron, or a bar or wire bent and formed with two points to be driven into wood, to hold hook, pin, &c. – Pope. Staple of land, the particular nature and quality of land.


A dealer; as, a wool stapler.

STAR, n. [Sax. steorra; Dan. and Sw. stierna; G. stern; D. star; Arm. and Corn. steren; Basque, zarra; Gr. αστηρ; Sans. tara; Bengal. stara; Pehlavi, setaram; Pers. setareh or stara; W. seren.]

  1. An apparently small luminous body in the heavens, that appears in the night, or when its light is not obscured by clouds or lost in the brighter effulgence of the sun. Stars are fixed or planetary. The fixed stars are known by their perpetual twinkling, and by their being always in the same position in relation to each other. The planets do not twinkle, and they revolve about the sun. The stars are probably worlds, and their immense numbers exhibit the astonishing extent of creation and of divine power.
  2. The pole-star. [A particular application, not in use.] – Shak.
  3. In astrology, a configuration of the planets, supposed to influence fortune. Hence the expression, “You may thank your stars for such and such an event.” A pair of star-cross'd lovers. – Shak.
  4. The figure of a star; a radiated mark in writing or printing; an asterisk; thus *; used as a reference to a note in the margin, or to fill a blank in writing or printing where letters are omitted.
  5. In Scripture, Christ is called the bright and morning star, the star that ushers in the light of an eternal day to his people. – Rev. xxii. Ministers are also called stars in Christ's right hand, as, being supported and directed by Christ, they convey light and knowledge to the followers of Christ. – Rev. i. The twelve stars which form the crown of the church, are the twelve apostles. – Rev. xii.
  6. The figure of a star; a badge of rank; as, stars and garters.
  7. A distinguished and brilliant theatrical performer. The pole-star, a bright star in the tail of Ursa minor, so called from its being very near the north pole. Star of Bethlehem, a flower and plant of the genus Ornithogalum. There is also the star of Alexandria, and of Naples, and of Constantinople, of the same genus. – Cyc. Lee.

STAR, v.t.

To set or adorn with stars or bright radiating bodies; to bespangle; as, a robe starred with gems.


The popular name of several species of Chrysophyllum, whose fruit is esculent; Chrysophyllum Cainito is the most important species. They grow in inter-tropical climates.


Pertaining to the right hand side of a ship; being or lying on the right side; as, the starboard shrouds; starboard quarter; starboard tack. In seamanship, starboard, uttered by the master of a ship, is an order to the helmsman to put the helm to the starboard side. – Mar. Dict.

STAR-BOARD, n. [Sax. steor-board; G. steuerbort, as if from steuer, the rudder or helm; D. stuur-bord, as if from stuur, helm; Sw. and Dan. styr-bord. But in Fr. stribord, Sp. estribor, Arm. strybourz or stribourh, are said to be contracted from dexter-bord, right-side. Star-bord is from steer-bord, the tiller being on the right hand of the steersman.]

The right hand side of a ship or boat, when a spectator stands with his face toward the head, stem or prow.


Stiff; precise; rigid. – Killingbeck.

STARCH, n. [Sax. stearc, rigid, stiff; G. stärke, strength, starch, stark, strong; D. sterk, Dan. stærk, Sw. stark, strong. See Stare and Steer.]

A substance used to stiffen linen and other cloth. It is the fecula of various vegetables, a substance which is a white solid with no smell, and with very little taste, and which, when squeezed between the fingers, gives a very peculiar sound. It is insoluble in cold water, but with boiling water it forms a jelly very nearly transparent. Iodine forms with starch, a blue compound, and hence is the best test of its presence. Starch forms the greatest portion of all fabrinaceous substances, particularly of wheat flour, and it is the chief ingredient of bread.

STARCH, v.t.

To stiffen with starch. – Gay.


Formerly, a court of criminal juris diction in England. This court was abolished by Stat. 16 Charles I. See Blackstone, B. iv, ch. xix.


  1. Stiffened with starch.
  2. adj. Stiff; precise; formal. – Swift.


Stiffness in manners; formality. – Addison.


One who starches, or whose occupation to starch. – Johnson.


A plant, the Muscari racemosum, a native of Britain, and a garden plant in the United States.


Stiffening with starch.


With stiffness of manner; formally.


Stiffness of manner; preciseness.


Consisting of starch; resembling starch; stiff; precise.


Crowned with stars. – Holmes.

STARE, n.1 [Sax. stær; G. stahr; Sw. stare.]

A bird, the starling, or Sturnus.

STARE, n.2

A fixed look with eyes wide open. – Dryden.