Dictionary

1taint

verb \ˈtānt\

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

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

Full Definition of TAINT

transitive verb
1
:  to contaminate morally :  corrupt <scholarship tainted by envy>
2
:  to affect with putrefaction :  spoil
3
:  to touch or affect slightly with something bad <persons tainted with prejudice>
intransitive verb
1
obsolete :  to become weak
2
:  to become affected with putrefaction :  spoil

Examples of TAINT

  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 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>.

Rhymes with TAINT

2taint

noun

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

Full Definition of TAINT

:  a contaminating mark or influence <the taint of scandal>
taint·less \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of TAINT

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

First Known Use of TAINT

1601
TAINTED Defined for Kids

1taint

verb \ˈtānt\
taint·edtaint·ing

Definition of TAINT for Kids

1
:  to rot slightly <tainted meat>
2
:  to affect slightly with something bad <One bad game tainted my reputation as the best.>

2taint

noun

Definition of TAINT for Kids

:  a trace of decay

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