\ ˈpānt How to pronounce paint (audio) \
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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Examples of paint in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun 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 Bipartisan Outreach Powell has worked hard since becoming Fed chair at building strong relationships on Capitol Hill on both sides of the aisle, an effort that could help him avoid being painted as partisan. Saleha Mohsin,, "Powell Steps Gently Onto Congress’s Turf With Spend-More Message," 18 May 2020 To ward off demoralization, flower boxes and a rainbow pennant banner frame the front window, on which the Trading Post logo is nicely painted, as though the pop-up may stay for a while. Matt Dellinger, The New Yorker, "Frederick Law Olmsted’s War on Disease and Disunity," 16 May 2020 Each side will try to paint the other as villainous. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: Fat chance MLB owners actually open their books. This is negotiating.," 14 May 2020 Yet if Kansas and U of L can succeed in painting Adidas payoffs as the work of rogue employees rather than co-conspirators, potential sanctions figure to be softer. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville basketball may be mirroring its NCAA defense to Kansas' with same lawyer on board," 10 May 2020 Trump has been ratcheting up efforts to paint China as the villain, as the U.S. economy drifts into recession and the president’s handling of the crisis boosts support for the presumptive Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden. Jordan Fabian, Fortune, "Trump is pushing for a “conclusive” report linking COVID-19 to Wuhan lab," 4 May 2020 Included in the line up is Amy Sherald,contemporary artist and first Black woman to paint an official First Lady portrait, which was Michelle Obama’s. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Amy Sherald Stars In Lafayette 148 New York's #UnordinaryWoman Campaign," 24 Apr. 2020 No matter, for even the attempt to paint in watercolour brings many rewards. The Economist, "Different strokes To see the world as it really is, try painting it in watercolours," 22 Apr. 2020 The Bible paints death as a deviation from God’s original good design, the bitter fruit of humankind’s deal with the devil in that fateful exchange in the Garden of Eden. Daniel Darling, National Review, "How Good Friday Helps Us Cope with the Pandemic," 10 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Travis Best played the entire fourth quarter for a second-straight game, Jalen Rose hit two fourth-quarter 3s and Antonio Davis continued his yeoman's work in the paint. Matthew Glenesk, Indianapolis Star, "How Pacers pushed Michael Jordan, Bulls to the brink in 1998: 'They saw the fear in Chicago's eyes.'," 15 May 2020 Another time, kids returned from the zoo with art pieces made by snakes that'd been dipped in paint. Terry Demio,, "Ask sick kids what zoo animals can do for them. The answer: Plenty," 12 May 2020 On Thursday, Kensington Palace uploaded a new unreleased pic from the shoot, showing Louis' face and lips covered in paint. Dave Quinn,, "Kate Middleton Just Shared Her First 'Instagram Vs. Reality' Post: See the Messy Reality!," 23 Apr. 2020 The envelopes contained all the paper, ink, paint, brushes and more that the children, ages 5 through 12, need for that day. Dallas News, "Finding community in quarantine: How North Texans are connecting in creative ways in spite of coronavirus This article has comments enabled.," 27 Mar. 2020 Frantic phrases, scribbles and splatters of paint cover the walls of a room-sized box at the Museum of Contemporary Art's Geffen Contemporary (which was not affiliated with the event) in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday night. Katie Campione, The Hollywood Reporter, "Willow Smith Trapped Herself in a Room at MOCA to Raise Awareness for Anxiety," 12 Mar. 2020 Antimicrobial paint has agents in it that can kill bacteria. John Steppe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin nursing homes are working to prevent spread of coronavirus -- and some are scrambling to find supplies," 9 Mar. 2020 Vibrant colors jockey against dull ones; splatters of rocky texture channel happenstance; paint is applied in drips and arcs and douses and schmears. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "What José Parlá, JR and Kunle Martins Learned from Graffiti," 8 Mar. 2020 The White House has not yet chosen a grade of paint, but Trump has insisted for years that the barrier should be black to discourage climbers. Nick Miroff, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump order to paint border wall black could drive up cost $500 million or more," 6 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for paint

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for paint

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Paint.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for paint


How to pronounce paint (audio)

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 How to pronounce paint (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on paint

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for paint

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with paint

Spanish Central: Translation of paint

Nglish: Translation of paint for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of paint for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about paint

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