tinc·​ture | \ˈtiŋ(k)-chər \

Definition of tincture 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a solution of a medicinal substance in an alcoholic solvent

2a : a characteristic quality : cast

b : a slight admixture : trace a tincture of doubt

3a : 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


tinctured; tincturing\ ˈtiŋ(k)-​chə-​riŋ , -​shriŋ \

Definition of tincture (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to tint or stain with a color : tinge

2a : to infuse or instill with a property or entity : impregnate

b : to imbue with a quality : affect writing tinctured with wit and wisdom

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Synonyms & Antonyms for tincture

Synonyms: Noun

cast, color, hue, shade, tinge, tint, tone

Synonyms: Verb

bepaint [archaic], color, dye, paint, pigment, stain, tinge, tint

Antonyms: Verb


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Did You Know?


Tincture derives from the same root as "tint" and "tinge" - the Latin verb tingere, meaning "to moisten or dip." "Tincture" specifically derives via Middle English from the Latin tinctus, the past participle of "tingere." When the word first appeared in English in the 14th century, "tincture" referred to a coloring matter or dye, but by the 17th century the word had acquired a number of additional meanings, including "a slight infusion or trace of something." "Tinge" and "shade" are two other words referring to color that can be used the same way. "Tincture" can also refer, among other things, to the colors used in a coat of arms or an herbal or medicinal solution.

Examples of tincture in a Sentence


a ragged shirt that seemed to be stained with the tincture of blood


clouds tinctured by the rays of the setting sun

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Trulieve, a dispensary at 4020 NW 26th St., offers CBD (cannabidoil) capsules and tinctures. Glenn Garvin, miamiherald, "As marijuana dispensaries open their doors, Florida registers 5,400 new users per week," 1 June 2018 But the roots of many natural skin care solutions can be traced to Europe, where alternative medicine practitioners have been bottling botanical tinctures and homeopathic remedies for centuries. Kari Molvar, New York Times, "Direct From Europe: High-Tech Holistic Skincare," 26 Feb. 2018 That doesn’t include 350,000 pounds (158,757 kilograms) of marijuana edibles, tinctures and concentrates. Washington Post, "US Attorney: Oregon has major pot overproduction," 19 May 2018 Here, Shanahan demonstrates how to make an Echinacea tincture—or an alcoholic extraction of the flowers and leaves that retains the Echinacea’s powerful immune-boosting properties and can be stored for a prolonged period of time. Stephanie Eckelkamp, Good Housekeeping, "Meet The Registered Nurse And Herbalist Who Grows Her Own Natural Cures," 28 Aug. 2017 Using it intravenously or under the tongue is most effective for now, depending on the tincture concentration. Kelly Dobkin, Bon Appetit, "How Drinking CBD Cocktails Really Makes You Feel," 22 June 2018 But Florida lawmakers later limited the amendment's scope by directing patients who qualify to obtain medical marijuana to use only oils, sprays, tinctures, vaping and edibles. Justin Sayers, The Courier-Journal, "John Morgan took on medical marijuana in Florida, now he's after NCAA," 11 July 2018 Many viewers circulating the video on social media called on marijuana dispensaries to boycott TreatWell, which combines marijuana plant extracts with coconut oil to produce tinctures that are said to relieve pain in pets and humans. NBC News, "'Permit Patty' resigns as CEO of cannabis company in fallout over video," 27 June 2018 Co-owner Eddy Buckingham plans to add drops of a CBD tincture called Daily Dose to their cocktail, the $18 Jade Fizz (like a gin fizz, but with bok choy extract and moringa powder). Kelly Dobkin, Bon Appetit, "How Drinking CBD Cocktails Really Makes You Feel," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That sartorial elegance bespoke a deep embrace of tradition, tinctured with just the right amount of satire to be amusing. Roger Kimball, WSJ, "Tom Wolfe Had the Right Stuff," 15 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tincture.' 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 tincture


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


1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tincture


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

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tincture press



Statistics for tincture

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for tincture

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

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More Definitions for tincture



English Language Learners Definition of tincture

: a medicine that is made of a drug mixed with alcohol


tinc·​ture | \ˈtiŋ(k)-chər \

Medical Definition of tincture 

: a solution of a medicinal substance in an alcoholic or hydroalcoholic menstruum — compare liquor sense b

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More from Merriam-Webster on tincture

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tincture

Spanish Central: Translation of tincture

Nglish: Translation of tincture for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tincture for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tincture

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a private place of worship

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