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attaint

[uh-teynt]
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verb (used with object)
  1. Law. to condemn by a sentence or a bill or act of attainder.
  2. to disgrace.
  3. Archaic. to accuse.
  4. Obsolete. to prove the guilt of.
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noun
  1. Obsolete. a stain; disgrace; taint.
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Origin of attaint

1250–1300; Middle English ataynte, derivative of ataynt convicted < Anglo-French, Old French, past participle of ataindre to convict, attain
Related formsun·at·taint·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for attaint

Historical Examples

  • Hither he came, when attaint was lifted, late in those tottering years.

    The Spell of Scotland

    Keith Clark

  • It is proposed to attaint men for religion, and also for birth.

  • Since all of the victims were dead, the attaint affected only their property.

    Give Me Liberty

    Thomas J. Wertenbaker

  • Attaint, a writ at common law against a jury for a false verdict, finally abolished in England in 1825.

  • Now Parliament was called on by the king himself to attaint his ministers and his Queens.


British Dictionary definitions for attaint

attaint

verb (tr) archaic
  1. to pass judgment of death or outlawry upon (a person); condemn by bill of attainder
  2. to dishonour or disgrace
  3. to accuse or prove to be guilty
  4. (of sickness) to affect or strike (somebody)
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noun
  1. a less common word for attainder
  2. a dishonour; taint
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French ateint convicted, from ateindre to attain
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