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

From Flowers Come Honey is a must-try: a delicate nasturtium tincture highlights the dynamic herbal flavors of Botanivore Gin from local distillery St. George Spirits in Alameda, Calif. Patrick Thomas, WSJ, "Five Bars Disrupting Silicon Valley’s Nightlife," 5 Dec. 2018 Meticulously crafted sips include a chocolate negroni, a brandy milk punch with cayenne tincture, and a pisco-forward drink utilizing rhubarb shrub and spice-pickled berries. Antonio Basada, Condé Nast Traveler, "28 Best Bars in Chicago," 1 Mar. 2018 Greg Seider offers more than 50 recipes for cocktails, punches, spirit infusions, bitters, and tinctures in this guide, which features beautiful photographs by Noah Fecks. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "12 Cocktail Books to Improve Your Bartending Skills," 9 Nov. 2018 Their tinctures, lotions, and potions play an important part in their routines, and as interest in the mystic has risen on social media, the beauty industry has taken notice. Glamour, "6 Witches on Their Favorite Mystical Beauty Products," 31 Oct. 2018 Some investors may be happy to occasionally sacrifice a tincture of return for the sake of ditching polluters. Tim Gray, New York Times, "Finding Emerging Markets Stocks With Social Consciences," 13 Apr. 2018 Cocktails are smart takes on classics, with a special focus on housemade tinctures driven by the seasons. Antonio Basada, Condé Nast Traveler, "28 Best Bars in Chicago," 1 Mar. 2018 Apitherapy involves the use of bee products in health care applications, like taking a propolis tincture to stave off a cold. Cristina Mueller, Town & Country, "Beauty and the Bees," 6 Dec. 2012 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

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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Dictionary Entries near tincture





tincture press



Statistics for tincture

Last Updated

5 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

What made you want to look up tincture? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


someone who never drinks alcohol

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