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 taintless (audio) \ adjective

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 In August, Judge Burke held a closed-door pretrial hearing barring the media at the behest of both prosecutors and the defense in order to keep the identities of the accusers and the details of their stories from tainting the potential jury pool. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Harvey Weinstein's sex-crimes trial to begin in New York: What you need to know," 3 Jan. 2020 The violence and bias threatened to taint the Democratic Party. Steffen W. Schmidt, The Conversation, "Why the race for the presidency begins with the Iowa caucus," 27 Dec. 2019 Though Miller himself feels being identified as white helped him, a judge denied that race taints court decisions. Byron Mccauley, Cincinnati.com, "Column: Racial disparity in police stops predictable but disappointing," 27 Dec. 2019 The annual toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie were bad enough to taint the Toledo water supply on Aug. 2, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without safe water to drink, bathe in or wash their dishes with for two days. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "2014, the year Cleveland lost Tamir Rice: Biggest stories of the 2010s," 21 Dec. 2019 In 2009, Karzai won reelection, narrowly avoiding a runoff thanks to a massive ballot-box stuffing campaign that tainted the outcome. Craig Whitlock, Anchorage Daily News, "Officials reveal how massive rebuilding projects in Afghanistan failed," 9 Dec. 2019 Hippolyta tells her young daughter the origin story of their people: After God of War Ares (David Thewlis) tainted mankind’s hearts with war and hate, Zeus created the Amazons to restore peace to the earth. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Wonder Woman 3 and Amazons spin-off are 'all mapped out,' says Patty Jenkins," 9 Dec. 2019 Handing over a clean database to WADA was a key requirement for Russia to help bring closure to a scandal that has tainted the Olympics over the last decade. Washington Post, "Russia awaits sanctions from World Anti-Doping Agency," 9 Dec. 2019 Handing over a clean database to WADA was a key requirement for Russia to help bring closure to a scandal that has tainted the Olympics over the last decade. Graham Dunbar, chicagotribune.com, "World Anti-Doping Agency bans Russia from major sporting events for 4 years, including Tokyo Olympics," 9 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sure enough, the tests showed small levels of smoke-taint compounds. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "While the Kincade Fire burns, Alexander Valley wineries find reason for hope," 31 Oct. 2019 In a telephone interview Tuesday, McIntosh’s mother, Cynthia Lane, said the discrepancies between officers’ accounts and the video footage taint the credibility of the official version of events. Dan Hinkel, chicagotribune.com, "Disciplinary investigators find Chicago cop justified in fatally shooting 19-year-old in 2014," 30 Oct. 2019 Contemporary in style, Paterson’s aphorisms still have a taint of the past. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "The Art of Aphorism," 15 July 2019 For their part, Garcia said Annunciation House would not apply for reimbursement, in order to avoid the taint of association with the federal government. Aaron Cantú, The New Republic, "Inside Trump’s Border Chaos," 12 Sep. 2019 Epstein is gone, but his taint lives on and there may well be more resignations to come. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Another powerful person just lost a job over ties to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein," 7 Sep. 2019 It's believed the rite cleanses a soldier of war's taint and heads off postwar ailments. Betty Reid, azcentral, "To Chester Nez, last of the original Code Talkers, the words are more than a code," 29 Aug. 2019 For some, expunging the taint of the Saudis from the U.S. alliance system may be worth the price. Mike Watson, National Review, "Why the Middle East Policies Favored by Sanders and Warren Would Be Counterproductive," 30 July 2019 Szeemann’s thesis consolidated a generational revolt, among intellectually inclined and politically alienated art-school graduates, against conventions of artistic form and taints of marketing. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "Harald Szeemann’s Revolutionary Curating," 15 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for taint

Time Traveler

The first known use of taint was in 1573

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Statistics for taint

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Taint.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taint. Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for taint

taint

verb
How to pronounce taint (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with taint

Spanish Central: Translation of taint

Nglish: Translation of taint for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of taint for Arabic Speakers

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