1

taint

verb \ ˈtānt \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of taint

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

Examples of taint in a Sentence

  1. criticism of her sister's singing that was tainted by envy

  2. a tendency toward conceitedness taints that athlete's status as a role model

Recent Examples of taint from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of taint

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

Synonym Discussion of taint

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

2

taint

noun

Definition of taint

:a contaminating mark or influence
  • the taint of scandal

taintless

play \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of taint in a Sentence

  1. that rare political campaign that wasn't marred by the taint of false accusations

Recent Examples of taint from the Web

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.

First Known Use of taint

1601


TAINT Defined for English Language Learners

taint

verb

Definition of taint for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of taint for English Language Learners

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


TAINT Defined for Kids

1

taint

verb \ ˈtānt \

Definition of taint for Students

tainted; tainting
1 :to rot slightly
  • tainted meat
2 :to affect slightly with something bad One bad game tainted my reputation as the best.

2

taint

noun

Definition of taint for Students

:a trace of decay

Law Dictionary

taint

transitive verb \ ˈtānt \

legal Definition of taint

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

taint

noun


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