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

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 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 Pritzker said Madigan's said opponents of the progressive income tax use Madigan's connections to the scandal to taint the tax issue with concerns over corruption in state government. Greg Bishop, Washington Examiner, "Illinois House Speaker doesn’t have political capital for income tax increase, GOP lawmaker says," 11 Nov. 2020 There’s even a four-page faux newspaper that attempts to taint Kilbride with 14th Ward Ald. Ray Long, chicagotribune.com, "Speaker Madigan’s shadow hangs over a big-dollar, high-stakes Illinois Supreme Court contest," 22 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 Mott brought American colleagues with him to Canada, as well as some of the collectivist ideas that were being discussed and worked on in Washington, D.C.—at least until anti-Soviet hysteria killed off any proposal with the taint of socialism on it. Nathan Whitlock, The New York Review of Books, "Where Health Care Is a Human Right," 3 Nov. 2020 That phenomenon, called smoke taint, occurs when wildfire smoke lingers in the air for an extensive period of time, imparting certain compounds into the skins of wine grapes. Esther Mobley, National Geographic, "Wildfires have ravaged Napa Valley. Will California’s wine industry survive?," 9 Oct. 2020 Right now, the wine industry’s big concern is smoke taint, a phenomenon where lingering wildfire smoke can imbue wine grapes with flavors and aromas that recall an ashtray or a barbecue. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "The 2020 wildfires and Bay Area's food and wine supply: what you need to know," 27 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for taint

Time Traveler

The first known use of taint was in 1573

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Statistics for taint

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Taint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taint. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on taint

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