\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One artist, Adam Thompson, deconstructed a seat which is painted yellow with red parts. Johnny Diaz,, "After holding fannies for more than 30 years, seats from Miami Marine Stadium become works of art," 15 July 2019 Kim and Kourtney, along with their kids, came to the event and joined the community in painting rocks to be used for a memorial commemorating those harmed by radiation and chemicals. Sarah Midkiff,, "Kim & Kourtney Kardashian Take On Cleaning Up The Site Of A Nuclear Accident," 15 July 2019 For instance, although properly painting a room is not necessarily an easy task, only one trade is involved and bad outcomes include the wrong choice of color or sheen, uneven paint application, or a mess to clean up. Jeff Reina, Houston Chronicle, "GHBA Remodelers Council: Dodge DIY remodeling disasters by hiring a pro," 14 July 2019 After his wife Johanna died in 2001, Murphy hesitated before throwing out her art materials, and decided to start painting. Anne M. Hamilton,, "Extraordinary Life: It was hard to miss Johnny Murphy, a passionate lawyer who embraced Hartford," 14 July 2019 Downstairs, a bonus room with white-painted beamed ceiling adds some flexibility. Jack Flemming,, "Hot Property: Rocker Lindsey Buckingham takes a bow in Brentwood," 13 July 2019 Spray or paint the plants with an herbicide containing glyphosate. Ellen Nibali,, "Garden Q&A: Controlling horse nettle and coping with herbicide injury," 12 July 2019 It was almost sacrificed to my own painting skills when someone intervened, saved its life and taught me how to properly paint/restore this gem. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Emily Henderson Transformed This $60 Dresser From Craigslist Into an Unexpected Bar," 12 July 2019 One of the most popular things the DNC did in Philadelphia was a scavenger hunt for life-size donkey statues painted for all 50 states and seven territories placed throughout the city. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "5 things Milwaukeeans can expect to see in the year before the 2020 Democratic National Convention," 12 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And the market for paint is again flashing red: last year British firms’ sales of the stuff dropped by 2.4%. The Economist, "Wobbles in Britain’s housing market may augur something worse," 19 July 2019 Inkopolis Square, the social hub for Nintendo’s paint shooter Splatoon 2, is a space filled with memes. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Splatoon 2’s final splatfest starts today, marking the end of an era," 18 July 2019 In the portrait of a corpse, acrylic paint achieves the gummy texture of gore. Eren Orbey, The New Yorker, "A Photographer’s Elaborate Transformations in His Childhood Bedroom," 18 July 2019 The first uses smoke from a lighted candle to create impressions on paint, while the last finds charcoal or chalk dust scattered across a watery surface and skimmed off with a stiff piece of paper. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Tate Acquires Archive of Works by Little-Known Surrealist Ithell Colquhoun," 17 July 2019 Lead can flake from pipes into drinking water, and dust or chips from lead paint can be ingested. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "1,900 lead service lines replaced as Milwaukee Water Works contends with contractor shortage," 17 July 2019 For instance, although properly painting a room is not necessarily an easy task, only one trade is involved and bad outcomes include the wrong choice of color or sheen, uneven paint application, or a mess to clean up. Jeff Reina, Houston Chronicle, "GHBA Remodelers Council: Dodge DIY remodeling disasters by hiring a pro," 14 July 2019 The local Montgomery Ward store hired him at 16 to sell sporting goods and paint. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Ken Behring, Real Estate Baron, Found Joy in Giving Away Wheelchairs," 12 July 2019 The document indicates the state will provide paint to cover the graffiti., "Art project on I-205 pedestrian bridge caught in bureaucratic limbo is spared ‘restoration’," 10 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about paint

Statistics for paint

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for paint

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on paint

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with paint

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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).


something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!