late 14c., "damage or blemish the appearance of," probably representing a merger of Old Norse steina "to paint, color, stain," and a shortened form of Middle English disteynen "to discolor or stain," from Old French desteign-, stem of desteindre "to remove the color" (Modern French déteindre), from des- (from Latin dis- "remove;" see dis-) + Old French teindre "to dye," from Latin tingere (see tincture). Meaning "to color" (fabric, wood, etc.) is from 1650s. Intransitive sense "to become stained, take stain" is from 1877. Related: Stained; staining. Stained glass is attested from 1791.