\ 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 The first Dilophosaurus fossils were found in 1940, according to National Geographic, which Marsh looked at, along with a couple of other fossils, to paint a more accurate picture of the dinosaur. Fox News, "'Jurassic Park' got nearly everything wrong about Dilophosaurus, new study says," 9 July 2020 The diminutive fossil was found in Madagascar, where other intriguing fossils have helped researchers paint a picture of unique animals that lived millions of years ago. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Meet the 'tiny bug slayer,' an ancient relative of giant dinosaurs," 6 July 2020 Last week, hate crime charges were filed against a California man and woman who tried to paint over a street mural painted in front of a downtown courthouse. Jordan Culver, USA TODAY, "Black Lives Matter street mural in front of Trump Tower vandalized with red paint, quickly repainted," 14 July 2020 Sensabaugh said the city released more precise guidelines if activists want to paint the message again. Ricardo Torres, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'We'll paint it again with better paint': City removes 'Defund the Police' mural on Water Street," 11 July 2020 The professors and university students will be directing the youth at the detention center to paint their own mural. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, "Access the serves elderly, disabled and underprivileged residents of Medina County," 11 July 2020 To drive home her point, Jacobson commissioned a friend, the renowned Nigerian artist Aniekan Udofia, to paint an outsize periwinkle fist on the facade of her restaurant, a small Burmese retreat. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Thamee got national acclaim for its Burmese food. Now it wants to become a model for racial justice.," 10 July 2020 Two people charged with a hate crime after attempting to paint over Black Lives Matter street art are rebuking their repercussions as unjust. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "People who painted over Black Lives Matter street art decry 'double standard and hypocrisy' over hate crime charge," 9 July 2020 Rottman’s husband contacted the Oregonian/OregonLive after reading about artist Amy Stewart’s online classes to encourage people to paint images of their gardens. oregonlive, "Sketch your garden: Finding ‘stillness and clarity’ during the coronavirus shutdown," 8 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On Monday morning, a state trooper discovered that two of the murals had tire burnouts over the them, while a third had been defaced with white and brown paint, according to a state police press release. Anna Sturla, CNN, "Vermont Black Lives Matter roadway murals defaced, state police say," 8 July 2020 In March 1979, for example, the crew of a trawler called Sea Shepherd smashed through the ice of the Gulf of St Lawrence, before jumping out to spray baby seals with red paint, rendering their fur worthless. The Economist, "If climate activists turned to terrorism What if climate activists turn to terrorism?," 4 July 2020 But last week, the statue was vandalized with red paint resembling blood. Joshua Fechter,, "Statue of Christopher Columbus in downtown San Antonio park comes down," 1 July 2020 Sean Brennan was arrested after dousing the statue with red paint, according to authorities. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "'I did the right thing:' Man arrested on suspicion of painting Arizona Confederate memorial speaks out," 22 June 2020 In Baltimore, a statue and memorial to George Washington in a city park were vandalized with red paint., "Jail allowed only white staff to guard ex-officer charged with killing George Floyd," 21 June 2020 The move comes after the statue was plastered with red paint a week ago on Thursday, June 11. Shacamree Gowdy, Houston Chronicle, "Columbus statue now secured behind fence after being vandalized with 'blood'," 19 June 2020 Symbols painted over with gray paint included an anarchist symbol and a profanity acronym ACAB that is directed at police. Chris Mayhew,, "Cleanup by convention center keeps some spray-painted protest messages," 19 June 2020 The vintage playground has been updated with fresh paint. Joe Songer |, al, "Buck’s Pocket State Park campground and ORV trail opens today," 15 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.

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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

31 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Paint.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 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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