Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

taint

play
verb \ˈtānt\

Simple Definition of taint

  • : to hurt or damage the good condition of (something)

  • : to make (something) dangerous or dirty especially by adding something harmful or undesirable to it

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of taint

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to contaminate morally :  corrupt <scholarship tainted by envy>

  3. 2 :  to affect with putrefaction :  spoil

  4. 3 :  to touch or affect slightly with something bad <persons tainted with prejudice>

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 obsolete :  to become weak

  7. 2 :  to become affected with putrefaction :  spoil

Examples of taint in a sentence

  1. <criticism of her sister's singing that was tainted by envy>

  2. <a tendency toward conceitedness taints that athlete's status as a role model>



Origin and Etymology of taint

Middle English teynten to color & taynten to attaint; Middle English teynten, from Anglo-French teinter, from teint, past participle of teindre, from Latin tingere; Middle English taynten, short for attaynten — more at tinge, attain


First Known Use: 1573

Synonym Discussion of taint

contaminate, taint, pollute, defile mean to make impure or unclean. contaminate implies intrusion of or contact with dirt or foulness from an outside source <water contaminated by industrial wastes>. taint stresses the loss of purity or cleanliness that follows contamination <tainted meat> <a politician's tainted reputation>. pollute, sometimes interchangeable with contaminate, distinctively may imply that the process which begins with contamination is complete and that what was pure or clean has been made foul, poisoned, or filthy <the polluted waters of the river>. defile implies befouling of what could or should have been kept clean and pure or held sacred and commonly suggests violation or desecration <defile a hero's memory with slanderous innuendo>.

2

taint

noun

Simple Definition of taint

  • : something that causes a person or thing to be thought of as bad, dishonest, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of taint

  1. :  a contaminating mark or influence <the taint of scandal>

taintless

play \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of taint in a sentence

  1. <that rare political campaign that wasn't marred by the taint of false accusations>



1601

First Known Use of taint

1601

Rhymes with taint


TAINT Defined for Kids

1

taint

play
verb \ˈtānt\

Definition of taint for Students

tainted

tainting

  1. 1 :  to rot slightly <tainted meat>

  2. 2 :  to affect slightly with something bad <One bad game tainted my reputation as the best.>




2

taint

play
noun

Definition of taint for Students

  1. :  a trace of decay




Law Dictionary

taint

play
transitive verb \ˈtānt\

Legal Definition of taint

  1. :  to damage or destroy the validity of <evidence tainted by an illegal search>

taint

noun




Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

of striking ability or excellence

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

vernal brumal estival hiemal
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ