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 taint (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for taint

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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 Teaching that math is ‘racist’ will taint the field for everyone, including those who need it most. Kenin M. Spivak, National Review, 16 Sep. 2021 In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, irrigators who are at risk of losing their farms and in need of federal assistance fear any ties to far-right activism could taint their image. Gillian Flaccus, Star Tribune, 2 July 2021 Nelson said some individuals angry about the Sendsations vaccine policy have been posting negative online reviews about her roughly 35-year-old company, trying to taint its reputation. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Sep. 2021 But the former President and his supporters repeat the lie in a manner that looks certain to taint future elections as well. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 2 Sep. 2021 The investigators need to be investigated now, not later, as the personal, the political, and perhaps even the racial animus towards my client(s), continues to negatively taint any independent review of my client’s conduct. baltimoresun.com, 29 July 2021 In the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, irrigators who are at risk of losing their farms and in need of federal assistance fear that any ties to far-right activism could taint their image. CBS News, 2 July 2021 It’s not just meat that can taint an athlete’s blood. oregonlive, 18 June 2021 Just two days after a revelation that will taint horse racing for years to come, the collective will of horse racing to hold Baffert accountable already looks like it’s teetering. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 11 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The best way to keep technology from being weaponized is to use it proactively to put forward maps with transparent scoring and without the taint of backroom political dealing. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 Aug. 2021 By now, winemakers throughout California are used to contending with smoke taint, since the ambient ash can spread far away from a blaze’s epicenter. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 Aug. 2021 In both contexts, the actions of one fraudulent member taint the achievements of their colleagues. Stuart Ritchie, The Atlantic, 2 July 2021 But as the site of a massacre in 1912, residual hauntings—whether seen as the spirits of victims or the symbolic trauma of an unsolved tragedy—taint it forever. The Editors Of House Beautiful, House Beautiful, 22 Sep. 2021 The taint has impacted other Italian banks, or has exposed similar weaknesses. George Calhoun, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 People close to Garland say the criticism was exaggerated and that the attorney general has tried to hold true to his promise to avoid the taint of politics in his decisions. Evan Perez, CNN, 28 July 2021 And there were always Larry Elders in the mix: Black people who desperately wanted to be liked and admired by white people, to stand outside the taint of stereotypes, to be deemed the exceptional ones. Los Angeles Times, 11 Sep. 2021 Harder to solve are the smoke taint and water shortages. New York Times, 18 July 2021

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

Taino

taint

tainted

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Statistics for taint

Last Updated

6 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Taint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taint. Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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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

taint

transitive verb
\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on taint

Nglish: Translation of taint for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of taint for Arabic Speakers

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