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, 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 suit plausibly alleges President Donald Trump made statements that could be construed as evidence of racial bias and tainted the administration’s decision-making process about the temporary protections, Chen also said. Sudhin Thanawala, The Seattle Times, "Lawsuit over temporary immigration status moves forward," 25 June 2018 Seldom discussed, however, is the potential dark side of unchecked sports betting, including the risk of embroiling referees, coaches and even the players themselves—forever tainting the image of the teams involved. SI.com, "Sports Betting Is Inevitable—Let's Make Sure It's Done Right," 23 May 2018 And conservationists were unwittingly tainting some of the country’s rivers with the wrong species. Matt Simon, WIRED, "The 6-Foot Chinese Giant Salamander Is in Serious Trouble," 21 May 2018 The interrogation program became one of the darkest chapters of the CIA's history and tainted America's image worldwide after the Sept. 11 attacks. NBC News, "CIA nominee Gina Haspel wins Senate panel backing, confirmation expected," 16 May 2018 In the meantime, with both major political parties in the U.K. in terminal disarray, its government on the verge of collapse, and its relationship with Europe tainted, that Russian money is looking ever more well-spent. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "The Brexit Crisis Finally Engulfs the Party That Started It," 11 July 2018 Trump’s history of harsh rhetoric targeting minorities also taints standard-fare GOP initiatives such as cutting food stamps and imposing work requirements on Medicaid and other social services. Annie Linskey, BostonGlobe.com, "President Trump’s racially charged words dovetail with harsh policies," 9 July 2018 Sadly, tainted blood collected in Arkansas state prisons in the 1970s and 1980s became a scourge in a number of countries. James Freeman, WSJ, "Yet Another Reason to Thank the Founding Fathers," 3 July 2018 The accusations against McWain have apparently tainted his reputation as an officer who cared deeply about drug addiction. Crystal Hill, miamiherald, "A police officer was making drug arrests — and making money, New Jersey authorities say," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The judge can also use a special master to do what the taint team would do. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Attorney-client privilege: It's all over the news but how does it work?," 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

20 Sep 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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Comments on taint

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