\ 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

The cans are painted with smiling puppies and ice cream — both looking eager to accept 35 gallons of trash., "How a dirty city gets clean: Efforts to clean up Portland’s downtown come together this summer," 2 July 2019 Pam Wilder of Wilder Arts Studios in Ramona supervised AnomaR’s Abstract Mural in which guests were invited to continuously paint freestyle on blank paper. Ramona Sentinel, "AnomaR guests create their own works of art," 1 July 2019 The more progressive candidates are eager to paint the former vice president as a throwback whose comparatively centrist philosophy and can't-we-get-along attitude are out of step with the leftward leanings and pugilistic mindset of party activists. Author: Mark Z. Barabak, Anchorage Daily News, "Democratic debate: 5 things to watch for on second night," 27 June 2019 Traditionally, every team paints itself as a contender, speaking in glowing terms. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, "Drafting Stephen Curry," 25 June 2019 In the past month, at least two potholes have been spray-painted with penises. Anna Beahm |,, "What’s worse than potholes? Crude art, apparently," 24 June 2019 Kermit-green matcha, periwinkle purple ube, cotton-candy pink lychee—any of which I’d be tempted to use to paint a wall of my living room. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appétit, "The Hype Ice Cream I’m Willing to Wait in Long, Near-Rioting Lines For," 18 June 2019 The Salesforce founder, co-CEO, and chairman paints himself as a reluctant participant in the social strifes of the day, dragged into fighting battles on behalf of his workforce. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Swears He Is 'Not an Activist'," 11 June 2019 Luxury fashion houses use such narratives to paint a three-dimensional world—and a lifestyle—that’s alluring to consumers, while giving the institution an identity not tied to any one creative director. Tanisha C. Ford, The Atlantic, "The Radical Fashion Roots of Rihanna’s Fenty Line," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Now, company executives have to show the market that PPG can boost falling domestic sales of paint to homeowners and builders while also investing in the research and development needed to expand its industrial-coatings business. ... Austen Hufford, WSJ, "Pittsburgh Paint Maker Aims to Shake the Sales Blues," 2 July 2019 The giant eyeball is largely the work of welding students at Richland Community College, who built a metal frame, then added 4,000 small squares of Styrofoam, two layers of fiberglass and six coats of paint. USA TODAY, "Moon rocks, Misty of Chincoteague, Haiku Stairs: News from around our 50 states," 28 June 2019 Cans of spray paint are left by staffers for those who want to leave their mark on the Cadillacs or soil. Laura Garcia,, "Global helium market faces more uncertainty as government prepares to sell its stockpile stored in Texas," 21 June 2019 Two areas in the house — a vestibule near the front door and a second-floor bathroom — still had original coats of paint. Alice Adams, Houston Chronicle, "Moody Mansion a standing witness of Galveston’s history," 14 June 2019 Justin wore a gray oversized sweatshirt with baggy jeans, distressed with colorful splatters of paint. Vogue, "This Is How the Biebers Do Memorial Day Weekend Style," 27 May 2019 The last job was to give the rack a coat of black paint. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "How I Learned To Build With Metal," 24 May 2019 The smell of paint grows stronger, and Joss starts to weave. Norman Vanamee, Town & Country, "How Sackler Became the Most Toxic Name in Philanthropy," 16 May 2019 The Trump International Golf Course near his Florida estate was hit by splotches of red paint in April, obscuring some of the letters on the sign at the entrance of the club in West Palm Beach. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Anti-Trump vandalism sweeps country: Yacht, Hollywood star latest targets," 9 Aug. 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.

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

6 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).


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!