\ ˈpānt \
painted; painting; paints

Definition of paint 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a(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

2a(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

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

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

intransitive verb

1 : to practice the art of painting

2 : to use cosmetics



Definition of paint (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the action of painting : something produced by painting

2 : makeup especially : a cosmetic to add color

3a(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 or paint horse : a horse marked with patches of white and another color : pinto specifically : american paint horse

6 : color manipulation on a computer screen in a manner reminiscent of painting usually used before another noun a paint program

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Synonyms & Antonyms for paint

Synonyms: Verb

color, dye, pigment, stain, tincture, tinge, tint

Synonyms: Noun

cosmetics, makeup

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of paint in a Sentence


I need to paint the bookcase. We're going to paint the room yellow. The classroom wall was painted with clouds and rainbows. He painted that portrait of his wife. She painted the landscape on a square canvas. I like to draw and my sister likes to paint. The beauty of the world inspires me to paint. He paints mostly in oils. The study paints a bleak picture of the effects of pollution on animal life.


Apply paint to the canvas in a series of short strokes. I need more blue paint. The old walls are coated with several layers of paint. a can of latex paint The house needs a fresh coat of paint. The store sells many different paints. Did you chip the paint? The car's paint is cracking.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Her 2005 split from now-ex-husband Brad Pitt inspired a veritable lifetime of demeaning and belittling headlines that constantly paint her as the heartbroken victim in a classic love triangle (with Pitt and Angelina Jolie). Kathryn Lindsay,, "Why Be Engaged When You Can Be An Ex?," 13 July 2018 Democrats block his nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, painting him as an ideological warrior rather than impartial jurist. Greg Ip, WSJ, "The Supreme Court Won’t Stop Executive Overreach," 11 July 2018 Trump and conservative media figures seized on Mueller’s dismissal of Strzok from the Russia investigation and painted it as a shady maneuver intended to cover up partisan bias. Zeeshan Aleem, Vox, "Controversial FBI agent Peter Strzok’s upcoming hearing, explained," 11 July 2018 Using a blue shade of M.A.C.’s Pro Longwear Fluideline Gel Liner, the makeup artists painted them on wrists, fingers and across knuckles. Samantha Tse, Allure, "The Giambattista Valli Couture Show Sent Models Down the Runway With Next-Level "Glass Skin"," 9 July 2018 And then the art department dressed them, painted them, or put stone over our walls that held the water. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Why the hardest special effect on A Quiet Place was corn," 8 July 2018 The wildest part of this SGDQ run, however, comes when the speedrunner paints himself into a logistical corner (having skipped key items) and must concentrate on a frame-perfect glitch to keep the run going. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "The best, craziest speedruns from this year’s Summer Games Done Quick," 4 July 2018 In later years, scores were un-Leonardoed, with research proving someone else painted them. Susan Dunne,, "Yale Art Gallery Unravels Leonardo Da Vinci Mysteries," 3 July 2018 Jealous railed against Hogan by painting him as an ineffective governor who partners with or remains silent about the Trump administration. Doug Donovan,, "Joe Biden joins Maryland Democrats in Baltimore to rally behind Ben Jealous' campaign for govenor," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Republicans and some Democrats see abolition as political overreach that will help the GOP paint Democratic candidates as extremists. CBS News, "Push by liberal Democrats’ to abolish ICE delights GOP," 13 July 2018 The scientists theorize that the poison paint was used to protect the books from insects and vermin. Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, "Three poisonous books were found in University of Southern Denmark’s library," 10 July 2018 That means opponents are free to concentrate on the balance of the Heat lineup and pack the paint. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Do Heat have to be mindful of protecting future cap space?," 10 July 2018 Later, he was stripped in the paint by the Wizards’ Chris Chiozza. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "For Spurs rookie Walker, growing up won’t be hard to do," 8 July 2018 So for Cunningham’s final collegiate season, Missouri intends to spread the floor with five Tigers playing on the perimeter, opening the paint for drives and standing ready to launch from deep. Aaron Reiss, kansascity, "Now playing for Mizzou women's basketball: an entire lineup of three-point shooters," 1 July 2018 Opponents might pack the paint out of necessity, though every lean away from a player like James, Simmons, or Saric becomes an opportunity. Rob Mahoney,, "The LeBron James Experiment: Considering NBA Free Agency Scenarios for The King," 27 June 2018 The only available paints were red and white (hence its pink color), and the only available bunks for the nurses were down in the submarine’s tight quarters. Lee Smith, Southern Living, "WATCH: Memories of My Summer of 1958 in Paradise," 19 June 2018 Police noted the fresh paint in the kitchen, found more blood spatter on the kitchen ceiling, and documented the strong odor of cleaning chemicals that Tucker had admitted to using afterward, the report states. Josh Kovner,, "Hamden Man Said He Beat Mother, Burned Her Body For 8 Hours," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paint.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of paint


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a(1)


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for 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

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Statistics for paint

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for paint

The first known use of paint was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for paint



English Language Learners Definition of paint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of paint (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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


\ ˈpānt \
painted; painting

Kids Definition of paint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

2 : to make a picture or design by using paints

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

Other words from paint

painter noun



Kids Definition of paint (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Comments on paint

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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