taint

verb
\ˈtānt \
tainted; tainting; taints

Definition of taint 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to contaminate morally : corrupt scholarship tainted by envy

2 : to affect with putrefaction : spoil

3 : to touch or affect slightly with something bad persons tainted with prejudice

intransitive verb

1 : to become affected with putrefaction : spoil

2 obsolete : to become weak

taint

noun

Definition of taint (Entry 2 of 2)

: a contaminating mark or influence the taint of scandal

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Other Words from taint

Noun

taintless \ -​ləs \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for taint

Synonyms: Verb

befoul, contaminate, defile, foul, poison, pollute

Synonyms: Noun

blot, brand, onus, slur, smirch, smudge, spot, stain, stigma

Antonyms: Verb

decontaminate, purify

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Choose the Right Synonym for taint

Verb

contaminate, taint, pollute, defile mean to make impure or unclean. contaminate implies intrusion of or contact with dirt or foulness from an outside source. water contaminated by industrial wastes taint stresses the loss of purity or cleanliness that follows contamination. tainted meat a politician's tainted reputation pollute, sometimes interchangeable with contaminate, distinctively may imply that the process which begins with contamination is complete and that what was pure or clean has been made foul, poisoned, or filthy. the polluted waters of the river defile implies befouling of what could or should have been kept clean and pure or held sacred and commonly suggests violation or desecration. defile a hero's memory with slanderous innuendo

Examples of taint in a Sentence

Verb

criticism of her sister's singing that was tainted by envy a tendency toward conceitedness taints that athlete's status as a role model

Noun

that rare political campaign that wasn't marred by the taint of false accusations
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The only thing more egregious than tainting Friends' good name is, well, trying to stop a historically marginalized demographic from being able to choose who governs them. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Dear Georgia Republicans, Leave 'Friends' Alone," 23 Oct. 2018 Proposition 65 was adopted in 1986 as a means to protect residents from exposure to chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm, particularly those that may taint drinking water. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "After coffee brewhaha, CA fears cancer warnings have “gone seriously wrong”," 16 Aug. 2018 Trump’s supporters have argued that the findings are proof of political bias at the FBI’s highest levels that then tainted the Russia investigation, first led by the FBI and now by special counsel Robert Mueller. Anne Flaherty, Time, "Trump Still Says the FBI Was 'Plotting Against My Election'," 15 June 2018 Apart from the contributions, Sinema stumbled in trying to find a charity willing to accept money that was seen as tainted. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Kyrsten Sinema took thousands from California congressman accused of molesting girl," 7 May 2018 If those biases make the public conclude that your search for the truth — regardless of what that truth is — as a journalist is tainted, so be it. refinery29.com, "The White House Correspondents’ Dinner Debacle Proves That We — & The Media —Haven’t Learned Anything," 30 Apr. 2018 Many are disenchanted with politics after campaign finance scandals that have tainted parties of both the right and left. Justin Villamil, Houston Chronicle, "Will Mexico's presidential election undo energy market reforms?," 16 Apr. 2018 The details contained in these documents [regarding the February kidnapping case], if made public, could potentially taint additional witness interviews. Michael Levenson, BostonGlobe.com, "Bodies of three women found at home of Springfield kidnapping suspect identified," 4 June 2018 DeAngelo's public defenders argue the release could taint potential jurors and witnesses, leading to an unfair trial. Kathleen Ronayne, Fox News, "Judge weighs release of warrants in Golden State Killer case," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Mark Zuckerberg has cornered the market on the hoodie, and Elizabeth Holmes gave a taint to the turtleneck that Steve Jobs used so well. Caille Millner, San Francisco Chronicle, "Is a sucker really born every minute? The Bay Area will find out," 31 May 2018 Petro’s anti-corruption platform and his unconventional path into politics helps him avoid the taint that falls on establishment politicians. Ian Bremmer, Time, "5 Reasons Why Right-Wing Senator Ivan Duque Is Likely to Win Colombia's Presidential Election," 1 June 2018 That group, known as a taint team, would then do their own review of the remaining materials to determine which were privileged. Alan Feuer, New York Times, "Judge Orders Document Review in Cohen Case to End Next Week," 26 June 2018 In Vinous, critic Antonio Galloni addresses a question that’s been on all of our minds: Will smoke taint be a major issue in Napa Valley wines from the 2017 vintage? Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "Signs of new life in California vineyards," 21 June 2018 There is the taint of stigma and a reticence to talk openly about this kind of reproductive loss. Tara Shafer, Redbook, "I Lost a Baby at 33 Weeks — Now I'm Fighting to Spare Others the Same Pain," 19 June 2018 Would the taint last for the entirety of his administration? Cristian Farias, Daily Intelligencer, "In the Travel-Ban Case, Supreme Court Seems Ready to Let Trump Be Trump," 25 Apr. 2018 These clergy and parishioners dismissed the humanitarian act of rescuing Jews — which was also undeniably political — as a course best avoided by a church that perceived itself above the taint of worldly affairs. Rabbi Dan Fink, idahostatesman, "Neutrality is not a moral option | Idaho Statesman," 21 Apr. 2018 Under the procedure, the taint team would turn over to the case investigators all the material that is relevant and not covered by attorney-client privilege. BostonGlobe.com, "Attorney for Trump lawyer Michael Cohen says Cohen performed secret legal work for Fox News commentator Sean Hannity," 17 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'taint.' 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 taint

Verb

1573, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1601, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for taint

Verb

Middle English teynten to color & taynten to attaint; Middle English teynten, from Anglo-French teinter, from teint, past participle of teindre, from Latin tingere; Middle English taynten, short for attaynten — more at tinge, attain

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Dictionary Entries near taint

Taine

tainiolite

Taino

taint

tainter gate

tainture

taintworm

Statistics for taint

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for taint

The first known use of taint was in 1573

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More Definitions for taint

taint

verb

English Language Learners Definition of taint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to hurt or damage the good condition of (something)

: to make (something) dangerous or dirty especially by adding something harmful or undesirable to it

taint

noun

English Language Learners Definition of taint (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that causes a person or thing to be thought of as bad, dishonest, etc.

taint

verb
\ˈtānt \
tainted; tainting

Kids Definition of taint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to rot slightly tainted meat

2 : to affect slightly with something bad One bad game tainted my reputation as the best.

taint

noun

Kids Definition of taint (Entry 2 of 2)

: a trace of decay

\ˈtānt \

Legal Definition of taint 

: to damage or destroy the validity of evidence tainted by an illegal search

Other Words from taint

taint noun

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