tincture

1 of 2

noun

tinc·​ture ˈtiŋ(k)-chər How to pronounce tincture (audio)
1
: a solution of a medicinal substance in an alcoholic solvent
2
a
: a characteristic quality : cast
b
: a slight admixture : trace
a tincture of doubt
3
a
: color, tint
b
archaic : a substance that colors, dyes, or stains
4
: a heraldic metal, color, or fur
5
obsolete : an active principle or extract

tincture

2 of 2

verb

tinctured; tincturing ˈtiŋ(k)-chə-riŋ How to pronounce tincture (audio)
-shriŋ

transitive verb

1
: to tint or stain with a color : tinge
2
a
: to infuse or instill with a property or entity : impregnate
b
: to imbue with a quality : affect
writing tinctured with wit and wisdom

Did you know?

A droplet of this, a skosh of that. Now you take that home, throw it in a beaker, and add a touch of ethyl alcohol to hold it all together—baby, you’ve got a tincture going. Tincture is a word with a colorful past most often encountered today in reference to a solution consisting of a medicinal substance mixed with alcohol, as in “Carl weathers his cold with a tincture of echinacea.” When the word first appeared in English in the 14th century, tincture referred to a substance used to color, dye, or stain, but by the 17th century the word had acquired several additional meanings, including “a slight infusion or trace of something.” This sense is still in use today, especially figuratively, as when an aspiring actor is said to feel a “tincture of doubt that the acting lessons are worth what he paid.”

Examples of tincture in a Sentence

Noun a ragged shirt that seemed to be stained with the tincture of blood Verb clouds tinctured by the rays of the setting sun
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Unlike previous proposals, the bill from Assembly Republicans would allow most forms of cannabis, including concentrates, oils, tinctures, edibles, pills, topical creams and vapors, among others. Journal Sentinel, 15 Feb. 2024 First, Hadid mixes three tinctures with a gut support liquid from ION that retails for $52, according to The Cut. Esme Mazzeo, Peoplemag, 22 Mar. 2024 She will be instructed to ingest strange tinctures and coached to mistrust her own mind. Amanda Hess, New York Times, 29 Feb. 2024 Unlike previous versions of the bill, Vos said most forms of cannabis would be allowed, including concentrates, oils, tinctures, edibles, pills, topical creams and vapors, among others. Journal Sentinel, 8 Jan. 2024 At its apex around 2018, CBD was everywhere, appearing in water, chocolate bars, tinctures, gummies and skin serums. Julie Creswell, New York Times, 28 Feb. 2024 Contents include different types and sizes of bandages and sterile dressings, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, tincture of benzoin, ibuprofen, aspirin, antihistamines, sting relief wipes, splinter tweezers, blister patches, and more. Jessica MacDonald, Travel + Leisure, 27 Feb. 2024 Be sure to top off your mixture with 4 dashes of peppercorn tincture and a dash of saline solution. Claudia Alarcón, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 This bright green creative riff features Blanco Tequila, avocado cordial, fresh lime juice and a spicy tincture made in-house. Aly Walansky, Forbes, 17 Feb. 2024
Verb
The orchestral arrangements are tinctured with dissonance; sustained synthesizer tones slide on and off pitch, feeling precarious. Jon Pareles, New York Times, 31 Mar. 2020 That sartorial elegance bespoke a deep embrace of tradition, tinctured with just the right amount of satire to be amusing. Roger Kimball, WSJ, 15 May 2018

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Latin tinctura act of dyeing, from tinctus, past participle of tingere to tinge

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3b

Verb

1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tincture was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near tincture

Cite this Entry

“Tincture.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tincture. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

tincture

noun
tinc·​ture
ˈtiŋ(k)-chər
1
: a substance that colors, dyes, or stains
2
: a solution that contains a medical substance (as a drug) mixed with alcohol
tincture of iodine

Medical Definition

tincture

noun
tinc·​ture ˈtiŋ(k)-chər How to pronounce tincture (audio)
: a solution of a medicinal substance in an alcoholic or hydroalcoholic menstruum compare liquor sense b

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