taint·​ed ˈtān-təd How to pronounce tainted (audio)
: altered from a pure state or condition: such as
: contaminated by or as if by dirt, impurities, or harmful organisms
tainted food
Nearby residents typically want every shovelful of tainted soil dug up and shipped far, far away.Gregg Easterbrook
… federal health authorities identified an organic produce company … as a possible source of some of the tainted spinach.Julia Preston et al.
Viruses are often passed along to other computers via tainted files …J. D. Biersdorfer
: corrupted morally or ethically
a tainted victory
: damaged or spoiled by alteration from a correct or original state or form
tainted evidence
tainted testimony

Examples of tainted in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Further Reading Two dead in US from tainted surgeries in Mexico; 206 more may have brain infections To date, there have been 34 cases identified in the outbreak: 18 suspected, 10 probable, and six confirmed. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 16 June 2023 As Chevron publicly conceded, a resident spotted the tainted water long before Chevron or any news outlet alerted the community. David Folkenflik, NPR, 28 Mar. 2024 Charlie Ternan, a Santa Clara University economics major, died only three weeks before his graduation in May 2020 after taking a tainted Percocet pill for back pain. Lisa M. Krieger, The Mercury News, 17 Mar. 2024 But Brown says the unique risks of tainted eyedrops require a different approach from pills and tablets. Matthew Perrone, Fortune Well, 27 Dec. 2023 That inspection was prompted by an earlier recall of tainted eyedrops from a different Indian plant that’s been linked to four deaths and more than a dozen cases of vision loss. Matthew Perrone, Fortune Well, 27 Dec. 2023 If the animal had been treated with diclofenac in the days before its death, the tainted carrion would cause kidney failure in the vultures, followed by visceral gout, in which uric acid crystallizes across their organs. Meera Subramanian, The New Yorker, 31 Jan. 2024 The incubation period for salmonella, Wooten noted, is 12 to 72 hours, meaning that anyone who swallowed tainted flood water on Monday or Tuesday should have started to show symptoms already. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Jan. 2024 Further Reading Two dead in US from tainted surgeries in Mexico; 206 more may have brain infections Fungal meningitis is also difficult to test for and treat, Chiller noted. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 30 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tainted.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1577, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tainted was in 1577

Dictionary Entries Near tainted

Cite this Entry

“Tainted.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tainted. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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