In heraldry a stain is one of a number of different colours not included as one of the seven normal solid-field tinctures. The three stains usually referred to in period heraldry are tenne, murrey and sanguine. In period writings, a stain is both decribed as a characteristic of a tincture (Berners) and as a term for tinctures disallowed in heraldry (Legh, Guillim). In later writings, use of a stain on the arms of nobility was thought to indicate a stain on the bearer's honour, and were therefore used for abatements. This probably arose from a confusion of the term "stain" as a characteristic of color in the late Middle Ages with its more common negative usage. It is doubful that stains were ever used as abatements.
The list of stains is: