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taint1

[teynt]
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noun
  1. a trace of something bad, offensive, or harmful.
  2. a trace of infection, contamination, or the like.
  3. a trace of dishonor or discredit.
  4. Obsolete. color; tint.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to modify by or as if by a trace of something offensive or deleterious.
  2. to infect, contaminate, corrupt, or spoil.
  3. to sully or tarnish (a person's name, reputation, etc.).
  4. Obsolete. to color or tint.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become tainted; spoil.
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Origin of taint1

1325–75; conflation of Middle English taynt, aphetic variant of attaint struck, attainted, past participle of attainten to attaint; late Middle English taynt hue, tint < Anglo-French teint (< Latin tinctus, equivalent to ting(ere) to dye, tinge + -tus suffix of v. action); and teinte < Late Latin tincta inked stroke, noun use of feminine of past participle of tingere
Related formsun·taint·ed, adjectiveun·taint·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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1. defect, spot, flaw, fault. 1, 7. blemish, stain. 6. defile, pollute, poison.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for untainted

untainted

adjective
  1. not tarnished, contaminated, or pollutedhe was untainted by the scandal
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taint

verb
  1. to affect or be affected by pollution or contaminationoil has tainted the water
  2. to tarnish (someone's reputation, etc)
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noun
  1. a defect or flawa taint on someone's reputation
  2. a trace of contamination or infection
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Derived Formstaintless, adjective

Word Origin

C14: (influenced by attaint infected, from attain) from Old French teindre to dye, from Latin tingere to dye
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for untainted

adj.

1580s, in the moral sense; c.1600 in the physical sense; from un- (1) "not" + past participle of taint (v.).

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taint

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper