/ steɪpl̩ /
ETYM AS. stapul, stapol, stapel, a step, a prop, post, table, from stapan to step, go, raise.
1. A short U-shaped wire nail for securing cables.
2. A short length of U-shaped wire used to fasten papers together.
In medieval Europe, a riverside town where merchants had to offer their wares for sale before proceeding to their destination, a practice that constituted a form of toll; such towns were particularly common on the Rhine.
In English usage, it referred to a town appointed as the exclusive market for a particular commodity, especially wool. The wool staple was established by the English crown in Calais 1353. This form of monopoly trading was abandoned 1617.
Necessary foods or commodities.