\ 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 To project opponents, the regional board emails paint a clear picture. Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times, "Newsom pushes private seawater desalting plant over local and environmental opposition," 23 Feb. 2021 Opponents, on the other hand, paint a financial transaction tax (FTT) as a nightmare. Matt Egan, CNN, "Momentum is building for a stock-trading tax — and Wall Street is furious," 22 Feb. 2021 The above numbers, however, also paint a drastically different picture than the numbers four years ago. David Paleologos, USA TODAY, "Paleologos on the Poll: Move over Fox News, Trump voters are shifting toward Newsmax, OANN," 21 Feb. 2021 And still, the data doesn’t paint a full picture just yet of the toll COVID has taken, as it is focused on the first six months of the pandemic, which primarily affected people living in urban areas. Erin Corbett,, "The Pandemic Has Decreased Life Expectancy In The U.S. — Especially For Black & Latinx Americans," 19 Feb. 2021 On the other side, people paint a picture of an entitled liberal, just trying to get attention. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, "A Black Lives Matter mask shut down the Girl & the Fig, showing the high stakes for restaurants that stand on sidelines," 12 Feb. 2021 Pop-culture depictions of the ballet world may paint its artists as humorless (and underfed, and oversexed). New York Times, "On Ballet TikTok, a Place for Young Dancers to Be Real," 5 Feb. 2021 Who wouldn’t want to learn to paint from Van Gogh, to write from Toni Morrison, to sing and play guitar from Prince? USA Today, "Camp Kobe: How Kobe Bryant taught NBA players the Mamba way," 25 Jan. 2021 Interviews with officials and former officials paint a picture of a White House working hard to keep the president engaged with the business of leading the country and preparing to hand over power. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Trump fumes as aides try to fill final days with perks of the White House," 15 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Now there is another product to add to the list: paint. Washington Post, "Antimicrobial paint can kill bacteria on your walls. But you probably don’t need it to.," 24 Feb. 2021 All but the luckiest tetrachromats among us have made at least one bad paint choice or struggled with picking a complementary color for trim. Michelle Slatalla, WSJ, "10 Crucial Home and Garden Design Books for Beginners," 24 Feb. 2021 Not counting the face paint worn by Kiss fans or the plastic surgery displayed by the frontmen on stage, there were no masks at the show. Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune, "Minnesota's last big arena concert was one year ago today," 24 Feb. 2021 The two seniors have fit well in the Panthers’ scheme, which pressures the perimeter and funnels ballhandlers toward the paint. Nick Frazier,, "Boys basketball notes: Bryce Moore tries to find balance in new role as scoring point guard for Carmel," 23 Feb. 2021 In his more recent work, Auerbach’s paint surfaces are correspondingly less thick and luscious. Sanford Schwartz, The New York Review of Books, "A Painter’s Performances," 23 Feb. 2021 Using dark mulberry paint, the kangaroo was painted on the sloping ceiling of a rock shelter in the northeastern Kimberley region of Western Australia. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Rock on! Australia's oldest painting is of the beloved kangaroo," 22 Feb. 2021 The United States has made major strides to reduce the use of fossil fuels, filter pollutants and remove lead from many products such as gasoline and paint. C. Michael White, The Conversation, "How safe is your baby food? Company reports show arsenic, lead and other heavy metals – here’s what you need to know," 22 Feb. 2021 Nets guard Bruce Brown seemed to live inside the paint, his back cuts fooling the Clippers’ big men assigned to guarding him time and again. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "Clippers and Nets’ superstar battle comes down to defense, and close call, at the end," 21 Feb. 2021

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

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Paint.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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

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