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

Synonyms for taint

Synonyms: Verb

blemish, darken, mar, poison, spoil, stain, tarnish, touch, vitiate

Synonyms: Noun

blot, brand, onus, slur, smirch, smudge, spot, stain, stigma

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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

Federal courts nationwide had recently begun to insist on that, repeatedly declaring districts tainted with extreme partisan intent unconstitutional. Steve Mulroy, The New Republic, "To Beat the Gerrymander, Think Outside the Lines," 8 July 2019 However, both the FDA and its advocates have raised concerns over kratom tainted with other harmful contaminants being sold. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Kratom is not a cure for opioid addiction, FDA says in cracking down on illegal marketing," 26 June 2019 Another unsavory source in San Francisco — and other cities with high numbers of people living on the streets — is human feces tainted with marijuana. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive.com, "Ruh-roh: What happens when your dog gets into your weed stash," 23 June 2019 The stunning decision came more than three years — and millions of dollars — after authorities began examining the roots of the scandal that left Flint’s water system tainted with lead. Washington Post, "Prosecutors drop Flint water charges, promise fresh probe," 13 June 2019 The music-swiping software was buggy and hard to use, and downloaded files were often tainted with malware. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, "For iTunes, a long-needed reorganization," 10 June 2019 In many mechas, even if young pilots are tainted, in a sense, by the violence of war, their innocence may still absolve them. Maya Phillips, The New Yorker, "How “Neon Genesis Evangelion” Reimagined Our Relationship to Machines," 21 June 2019 See what fentanyl is and how it's been tainting other drugs, causing overdose and death in unprecedented numbers. Valerie Royzman, Cincinnati.com, "More than 20 indicted, drugs, guns seized in NKY trafficking bust," 20 June 2019 Investigators warned that conversations could taint a potential case, though criminal prosecutions on overseas bases are rare . Author: Justin Pritchard, Foster Klug, Anchorage Daily News, "Mothers: Air Force failed when child sex assaults were reported," 13 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Representative John Ratcliffe, Republican of Texas, asked if Mr. Mueller had properly addressed the potential taint of political bias brought to the case by Mr. Strzok. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "House G.O.P. Breaks Into Open Warfare With Rosenstein, Demanding Files," 28 June 2018 Withheld Pulling out of your job because your boss is corrupt does little more than keep your own reputation free of taint by association. New York Times, "What Do I Owe My Sociopathic Sibling?," 2 July 2018 With McCain, the honors were far out waged to taints. Fox News, "Bill Bennett on McCain, warts and all," 27 Aug. 2018 Mark Zuckerberg has cornered the market on the hoodie, and Elizabeth Holmes gave a taint to the turtleneck that Steve Jobs used so well. Caille Millner, San Francisco Chronicle, "Is a sucker really born every minute? The Bay Area will find out," 31 May 2018 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

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

tainted

tainter gate

tainture

Statistics for taint

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with taint

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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