enter image description here

Some food like snacks should be kept in a dry environment without any moisture or humidity.

If these foods are left in the open humility air, they will become soft and taste bad.

What is the everyday or common word to express that bad status?

For example, "I like to eat bread that has just come out of the oven. Bread will get soggy / damp if it is left in the open air."

  • 1
    I know of no single word that serves this purpose. Typical phrases are keep dry / store dry / keep sealed / keep moisture out. Commented Aug 22, 2020 at 15:45
  • I am looking for an adjective that expresses that state, an adj that says "wet to a level that causes bad taste"
    – Tom
    Commented Aug 22, 2020 at 16:25
  • 1
    Potato crisps and biscuits (both British Eng. terms) should be crisp/crunchy and will go soft or lose their crispness if left out in the air. (In my experience, bread dries out and goes hard, but perhaps we are thinking of different types of bread!) Commented Aug 22, 2020 at 16:44
  • 2
    "everyday or common word" : stale
    – Sam
    Commented Aug 22, 2020 at 16:55

2 Answers 2


Dry food that has become unpleasant or inedible due to improper storage (or because of its age) is described as stale.

stale food such as bread is old and no longer fresh

a package of stale crackers

get/go stale: Wrap the bread up well or it’ll get stale.


This is likely the closest answer to the question, however, it's not entirely fitting. Stale either means absorbed too much moisture or lost too much moisture.

You need to know how much moisture the food is supposed to contain in order to tell what stale means. For example:

If a potato chip has gone stale, it has absorbed enough moisture to change its texture and possibly its taste.

If a loaf of bread has gone stale, it has lost moisture, becoming dry and hard.

If a cookie has gone stale...we can't say. Some cookies are meant to be crisp and dry and some soft and moist. A Chips Ahoy! chocolate chip cookie is hard, so a stale Chips Ahoy! cookie has gotten moist. A Toll House chocolate chip cookie is typically soft, so a stale Toll House chocolate chip cookie has dried out.


“Dry” goods are sold and stored dry, usually in a sealed (or resealable) container, and will generally keep for weeks, months or even years as long as they’re kept dry. This does not include bread, but it does include many snacks and cooking ingredients.

“Fresh” goods, such as bread, produce and meat, are expected to only last a few days even if stored under ideal conditions, and it is understood they will go bad (stale, rotten, etc.) very quickly if not stored well.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .