\ 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

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb All of this will make the project of defining Biden negatively more difficult, particularly if Trump tries to paint him as a radical to scare white voters. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "This Is How Trump Plans to Beat Biden," 21 June 2020 The vice president's op-ed doesn't paint an accurate picture of how the country is faring. Cnn Staff, CNN, "The First Wave Is Not Over: Dr. Sanjay Gupta's coronavirus podcast for June 19," 19 June 2020 Here’s a YouTube video from This Old House with tips on how to paint like a pro. Create an ombre wall by choosing three colors and blending them together to create a focal wall. Julie Washington, cleveland, "Paint a room, build a fire pit, string solar lights: More stay-at-home projects for summer," 17 June 2020 Fitzwater helped show volunteers how to properly paint inside the lines so the letters are vibrant. Anna Beahm |, al, "Black Lives Matter: Birmingham activists, volunteers make their mark," 17 June 2020 Conversations with religious leaders, scholars and church members paint a picture of tremendous concern., "At a critical time for race relations, Covid-19 attacks Detroit's Black church leadership," 15 June 2020 New York City will paint and rename streets in the city to honor the Black Lives Matter movement, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday. Dennis Romero, NBC News, "Protester, 75, who was shoved by Buffalo police out of ICU," 11 June 2020 Some fans paint players as greedy and that’s a problem for a league that has trouble marketing its stars. Bobby Nightengale,, "Opinion: Major League Baseball swings and misses during its turn in the spotlight," 10 June 2020 Running out of time, Jones and the other muralists started directing volunteers where to paint. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "The Secret Project That Led to Black Lives Matter Murals Coast to Coast," 9 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And lead paint in old Cleveland homes continues to cause lifelong problems. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "How would you spend $8 million in extra tax dollars? A hotel bailout? We bet not.," 23 June 2020 The starting point was simple: lightening walls and most of the trim with Benjamin Moore's White Dove paint and contrasting it with high-gloss black. Marni Elyse Katz, Better Homes & Gardens, "Coastal Colors and Boho-Inspired Accents Revive This 130-Year-Old Victorian," 23 June 2020 Start with the lightest color, let dry and then draw a design with the tape and paint over. Tanya Edwards, CNN Underscored, "Nail art ideas for a gorgeous Fourth of July manicure," 22 June 2020 Miami waitress Janet Simon, 33, and her 37-year-old husband Carlos, who worked for a paint manufacturer, were both laid off in March when the virus hit. Terry Spencer And Kelli Kennedy, USA TODAY, "Unemployment in Florida hits record high, but peak may be near," 20 June 2020 Photographs don't quite capture the lustrous impact of the color but, trust me, if there was ever yellow paint worth $14,000, this is it. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "This entry-level Lamborghini offers more fun for a lot less money," 19 June 2020 Jamie Gonzalez of the events team with the city of Montgomery said the artists used a temporary paint that will wash away with water. Mike Cason |, al, "Montgomery slave market site bears ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural," 19 June 2020 Fortune: The paint industry might not seem like the flashiest space for a startup to disrupt. Rachel King, Fortune, "The founder of paint supply startup Clare on how to use your brand as a social platform," 19 June 2020 Further distinguishing the fact that the Fifty is a special edition is the paint choices. Mihir Maddireddy, Car and Driver, "Range Rover Celebrates 50 Years with Exclusive Limited Edition," 18 June 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.

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

Time Traveler for paint

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for paint

Last Updated

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!