- a trace of something bad, offensive, or harmful.
- a trace of infection, contamination, or the like.
- a trace of dishonor or discredit.
- Obsolete. color; tint.
- to modify by or as if by a trace of something offensive or deleterious.
- to infect, contaminate, corrupt, or spoil.
- to sully or tarnish (a person's name, reputation, etc.).
- Obsolete. to color or tint.
- to become tainted; spoil.
Origin of taint1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- the area between the testicles or vulva and the anus; the perineum.
Origin of taint2
Examples from the Web for taint
In losing, however, he will taint his possible rivals—including Rand Paul—as pitiful members of the "surrender caucus."Can Ted Cruz Win by Losing?
September 24, 2013
Once successfully in, I can see my Hash 160 and Taint Analysis, among other things.My Bitcoin (Mis)adventure
April 4, 2013
Random spot checks, so that getting checked carries no taint.Searching for Fraud
October 9, 2012
“Some people worry about the taint of association,” Bradley said.The Professor of Hip-Hop: Adam Bradley’s Poetic Mission
September 17, 2012
Nixon carried the taint of a perpetual candidate who had lost high-profile races.Romney’s Nixon Problem
October 18, 2011
This is now a tainted place, and I well know the taint of it clings to me.
I will not hear it from your lips, and with the taint of your wickedness upon it.
His temper was of the saturnine complexion, and without the least taint of moroseness.Joseph Andrews Vol. 1
The air did not seem lovely to him, for he was positive that he detected the taint.Alice Adams
No taint of vice or dissipation had ever sullied the brightness of his pleasant life.Henry Dunbar
M. E. Braddon
- to affect or be affected by pollution or contaminationoil has tainted the water
- to tarnish (someone's reputation, etc)
- a defect or flawa taint on someone's reputation
- a trace of contamination or infection
Word Origin and History for taint
1570s, "to corrupt, contaminate," also "to touch, tinge, imbue slightly" (1590s), from Middle English teynten "to convict, prove guilty" (late 14c.), partly from Old French ataint, past participle of ataindre "to touch upon, seize" (see attainder). Also from Anglo-French teinter "to color, dye" (early 15c.), from Old French teint (12c.), past participle of teindre "to dye, color," from Latin tingere (see tincture). Related: Tainted; tainting.