taint

verb
\ ˈtānt How to pronounce taint (audio) \
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 \ ˈtānt-​ləs How to pronounce taint (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for taint

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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 But to do so now would be seen as an expression of support for Trump and his monstrous actions, and that association would taint Belichick forever. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Bill Belichick chooses his legacy over Trump's Medal of Freedom," 12 Jan. 2021 The official said that while Mr. Pollard’s case has been used by some in the U.S. to taint Israel and paint Jewish-Americans as disloyal, his rise to fame in Israel and personal treatment by Mr. Netanyahu was politically motivated. Dov Lieber, WSJ, "Jonathan Pollard, Convicted Spy in U.S., Arrives in Israel," 30 Dec. 2020 One petition signer, identified as Ellie Inkster of St. Cloud, said the church being in central Minnesota would taint the region. Reid Forgrave, Star Tribune, "Online petition to block whites-only church in western Minnesota gains steam," 15 Dec. 2020 This discomfort, born of segregated neighborhoods and social spheres, along with prevailing stereotypes that taint their judgment of Black and brown people, is perhaps inevitable. Pamela Newkirk, WSJ, "After 2020, How Do We Move Forward on Race?," 14 Dec. 2020 Schmaderer said releasing the video now could taint the grand jury's investigation. Josh Funk, Star Tribune, "Nebraska police chief defends officers in fatal traffic stop," 23 Nov. 2020 Her political views are reprehensible, and undeniably taint her otherwise charismatic and down-to-earth performance as Diane. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "The Olsen Twins’ It Takes Two Is More Radical Than You Remember," 17 Nov. 2020 But other officials refused briefings, apparently not wanting Mr. Obama’s worldview to taint theirs. Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times, "Trump Rebuffs Biden Transition Team, Setting Off Virus and National Security Risks," 12 Nov. 2020 Because most early diet sodas didn’t taste that great, strategists warned against associating their brands with drinks that might taint their tremendous value. Jeffrey Miller, The Conversation, "The rise and fall of Tab – after surviving the sweetener scares, the iconic diet soda gets canned," 23 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Lincoln Project's Wilson said a last-minute denunciation of Trump won't help departing officials lose the taint of their connection to this presidency. Aamer Madhani, Star Tribune, "Stay or go? After Trump-fueled riot, aides debate early exit," 8 Jan. 2021 In addition to the heat spikes, the 2020 growing season had brought drought pressure, minuscule yields and the threat of smoke taint. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "Napa's Spring Mountain avoided fires for years. Now the hill's boutique wineries face total destruction," 1 Oct. 2020 There are fewer reports of long-lasting stigma in the U.S. and Europe, but the risk of taint attaching to the medical profession exists there too. Miho Inada, WSJ, "Coronavirus Stigma Lingers Long After Disease Fades," 27 Dec. 2020 But the rest of the valley’s 500+ wineries are just fine (apart from, in many cases, making less wine due to smoke taint, but that’s another story). Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "Napa’s newest tasting room is a fancy picnic set in a gothic fairy tale," 20 Oct. 2020 Those were the controls; the smoke-taint tests had come back negative, Kurtzman said. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "I drank smoke-tainted California wines. Here's what they actually taste like," 3 Dec. 2020 Business leaders, eager to avoid the moral taint of greed, have often led the anti-Friedman coalition. Alexander William Salter, WSJ, "Profit Keeps Corporate Leaders Honest," 8 Dec. 2020 Such waste can choke marine life, hamper boaters and taint drinking water. Chronicle Staff, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: Nov. 13-19," 22 Nov. 2020 Molnar understands the danger of smoke taint better than many. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "Many California wineries will make no wine this year because of wildfire smoke," 17 Oct. 2020

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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Statistics for taint

Last Updated

8 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Taint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taint. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce taint (audio) \
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 How to pronounce taint (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on taint

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for taint

Nglish: Translation of taint for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of taint for Arabic Speakers

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