Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


verb \ˈpānt\

Simple Definition of paint

  • : to cover (something) with paint : to put paint on (something)

  • : to make (a picture or design) by using paints

  • : to describe (someone or something) in a particular way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of paint

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a (1) :  to apply color, pigment, or paint to (2) :  to color with a cosmetic b (1) :  to apply with a movement resembling that used in painting (2) :  to treat with a liquid by brushing or swabbing <paint the wound with iodine>

  3. 2 a (1) :  to produce in lines and colors on a surface by applying pigments (2) :  to depict by such lines and colors b :  to decorate, adorn, or variegate by applying lines and colors c :  to produce or evoke as if by painting <paints glowing pictures of the farm>

  4. 3 :  to touch up or cover over by or as if by painting

  5. 4 :  to depict as having specified or implied characteristics <paints them whiter than the evidence justifies — Oliver La Farge>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to practice the art of painting

  8. 2 :  to use cosmetics

Examples of paint in a sentence

  1. I need to paint the bookcase.

  2. We're going to paint the room yellow.

  3. The classroom wall was painted with clouds and rainbows.

  4. He painted that portrait of his wife.

  5. She painted the landscape on a square canvas.

  6. I like to draw and my sister likes to paint.

  7. The beauty of the world inspires me to paint.

  8. He paints mostly in oils.

  9. The study paints a bleak picture of the effects of pollution on animal life.

Origin and Etymology of paint

Middle English, from Anglo-French paint, peint, past participle of peindre, from Latin pingere to tattoo, embroider, paint; akin to Old English fāh variegated, Greek poikilos variegated, pikros sharp, bitter

First Known Use: 13th century




Simple Definition of paint

  • : a liquid that dries to form a thin colored layer when it is spread on a surface

  • : a layer of dried paint on a surface

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of paint

  1. 1 :  the action of painting :  something produced by painting

  2. 2 :  makeup; especially :  a cosmetic to add color

  3. 3 a (1) :  a mixture of a pigment and a suitable liquid to form a closely adherent coating when spread on a surface in a thin coat (2) :  the pigment used in this mixture especially when in the form of a cake <a box of paints> b :  an applied coating of paint

  4. 4 :  a powerful muscular pinto having quarter horse or Thoroughbred ancestry; broadly :  pinto —called also paint horse

  5. 5 :  free throw lane

  6. 6 :  computer-generated color design <a paint program>

Examples of paint in a sentence

  1. Apply paint to the canvas in a series of short strokes.

  2. I need more blue paint.

  3. The old walls are coated with several layers of paint.

  4. a can of latex paint

  5. The house needs a fresh coat of paint.

  6. The store sells many different paints.

  7. Did you chip the paint?

  8. The car's paint is cracking.


First Known Use of paint


Other Paints and Dyes Terms

PAINT Defined for Kids



verb \ˈpānt\

Definition of paint for Students



  1. 1 :  to cover a surface with or as if with paint <I'm painting the wall.>

  2. 2 :  to make a picture or design by using paints

  3. 3 :  to describe clearly <The report painted an encouraging picture of restored habitats.>






Definition of paint for Students

  1. :  a mixture of coloring matter with a liquid that forms a dry coating when spread on a surface

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up paint? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a very small amount

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which is the correct spelling?

acommodate accomodate accommodate acommadate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.