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 The reality is much more prosaic: Organizations and universities around the world collect and study seeds of all kinds, and sometimes these facilities are destroyed, damaged, or just tainted. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "There's an Eerie Doomsday Vault That Stores All the World's Seeds," 12 Feb. 2020 Although Inspector General Michael Horowitz criticized both investigations, the DOJ watchdog has not determined that bias tainted either. Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner, "Peter Strzok warns Trump: 'A great deal more to say about the president’s attacks'," 7 Feb. 2020 When a series of off-field incidents tainted the team’s image, York declared zero tolerance for character issues such as domestic violence. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "49ers’ Jed York: Has the longtime fan target finally gotten things right?," 2 Feb. 2020 More and more tests across the state in recent years have found wells tainted by defective septic systems and changing agricultural practices, such as the spread of manure gathered from huge industrial dairy farms. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lafayette County effort to prosecute media started with top county officials furious over suspected leaks, emails show," 13 Dec. 2019 In 2015, Congress banned microbeads, those little bits of plastic used in face scrubs that companies thought would be A-okay for the environment, but instead ended up tainting the world so thoroughly that the public shamed the industry to change. Wired, "Microfibers Are the New Microbeads. Grab Your Pitchforks," 8 Oct. 2019 Those left behind will experience impossible conditions, their food supplies scorched and water supplies tainted by ash. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Planes Are Dropping Vegetables to Save Australia's Starving Animals," 13 Jan. 2020 In the public summary, CENTCOM discounted evidence collected by outside inquiries, including those from the U.N., as tainted by political or financial agendas. Brett Murphy, USA Today, "Inside the U.S. military raid against its own security guards that left dozens of Afghan children dead," 30 Dec. 2019 Thousands of students in the Flint Community Schools and more than a third of Flint residents were subjected to improperly treated water tainted by lead leaching from water pipes. Rochelle Riley, Freep.com, "Flint boy was suspended, sent home from school 50+ times. His mom blames water crisis.," 13 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The death of Jackson was a massive cultural phenomenon, bringing an outpouring of public affection and revival of his songs and largely erasing the taint that remained after his criminal trial, despite his acquittal. cleveland.com, "Tributes to Michael Jackson flow on 10th death anniversary," 25 June 2019 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

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

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Taint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taint. Accessed 26 Feb. 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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