—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 U-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. to secure or fasten by a staple or staples: to staple three sheets together.
—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. Textiles.a standard length of textile fibers, representing the average of such fibers taken collectively, as short-staple or long-staple cotton.
7. Hist.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. to sort or classify according to the staple or fiber, as wool.