\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

The dig revealed more than 6,000 fragments and pieces of different household objects that helped paint a picture of how these workers lived in the mid-1800s. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "Digging for mid-1800s trash uncovers lives of Corktown residents," 1 July 2018 The evaluation conducted by forensic psychiatrist Steven Pitt, who would become Dwight Jones' first victim, painted a more startling picture. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Scottsdale-area shootings: 4 things we learned from 'Dateline' feature," 29 June 2018 Multiple accounts have painted a picture of an already-overstretched bureaucracy under unprecedented strain. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Report: Prosecutors Warned Sessions That ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy Would Dim Focus on Drug-Smuggling," 23 June 2018 Head over to South Coast Plaza, where a full-time, in-store artist will now paint it for you with a smile — and for free. Candice Baker Yacono,, "Louis Vuitton South Coast Plaza reopens with store-exclusive merchandise," 12 July 2018 Stories have emerged in recent days about real-life encounters with the manager — not jaw-dropping anecdotes, but ones that collectively paint a picture of a man who is decent and generous, regardless of whether the cameras are around. Karla Adam, Washington Post, "Win or lose in the World Cup, England has a national hero in Coach Gareth Southgate," 11 July 2018 Marsha Ginsberg’s scenic design is dominated by the production’s most effective visual element: a gunmetal-gray, rotating carnival ride with five torpedo-like cars painted with grinning shark faces. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "‘Peter Pan’ Review: A Modern Neverland," 11 July 2018 In addition to being an American history buff, Mr. Middelton enjoyed writing poetry and was an accomplished watercolor artist who liked painting landscapes and towns. Frederick N. Rasmussen,, "James W. 'Bill' Middelton, former bank president and investment banker, dies," 13 July 2018 Less than 10 years later, Sanni is an artist and creative director who has painted the faces of women like Leslie Jones and model Diandra Forrest and created a series of viral beauty projects that showcase the beauty of Black women. Abby Haglage,, "4 Black Girls With Big Dreams & The 4 Women Living Them," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At a security checkpoint, two men sporting Belgian-flag face paint and Algerian jerseys sang a song in Arabic in praise of Palestine. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "The World Cup is a victory for the immigrant dream," 12 July 2018 The billboard was plastered on the building facade of Sherwin-Williams, a paint and materials company that is headquarted in Cleveland. Scooby Axson,, "Watch: LeBron Banner Comes Down in Cleveland," 3 July 2018 The little girl also celebrated her birthday the previous year in face paint and Minnie Mouse ears. Jen Juneau,, "Kim Kardashian West Takes Saint and North to Disneyland — See the Cute Mommy-and-Me Snaps," 23 May 2018 The paint scheme for the new locomotives and refurbished cars will be chosen by officials working with district residents and train riders. Phil Diehl,, "Coaster train to get five new locomotives," 12 July 2018 In July 2017, following a series of court rulings that found anti-panhandling laws elsewhere in the nation to be unconstitutional, Orlando overturned its 2000 ordinance that limited solicitation to a series of boxes outlined in blue paint. Kate Santich,, "Downtown Orlando panhandling soaring, leaders say," 9 July 2018 There was a man in a dusty Captain America costume next to a naked woman with her chest and bum covered in a paint that didn’t quite cover anything at all. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "This Fourth of July, Let’s Remember the Symbolism of Freedom Behind Lady Liberty’s Green Robe," 4 July 2018 It was covered in paint, decked out in murals and graffiti doodles and designs. Marissa J. Lang, Washington Post, "‘Make sure more faces won’t be added to this mural’: 16-year-old memorializes slain D.C. teens," 7 June 2018 After showing pieces that any lover of a dark leather and denim aesthetic could get behind, the show ended on a decidedly more sparkly note with models walking out in the finale covered in disco-ball silver paint. Mekita Rivas, Teen Vogue, "Kaia Gerber Opens the Saint Laurent Spring 2019 Men's Show in NYC," 7 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

9 Nov 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

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