- 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 for taint on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tainted
Other uteri, tainted by low, regular doses of progesterone and/or witchcraft, become evil.Getting to Know the ‘Beyoncé Voter’
Kelly Williams Brown
July 7, 2014
For weeks the information coming out of Kuala Lumpur was, at best, inconsistent and contradictory and, at worst, tainted.Who Gagged the Search for MH370?
June 22, 2014
There are no innocents in Bangladeshi politics and every politician is tainted by accusations of corruption.Bangladesh’s Radical Islamists Get U.S. Backing
January 12, 2014
To this day, Palmeiro insists that he never juiced and simply took a tainted vitamin shot.The Baseball Hall of Fame is a Mess
January 9, 2014
Ah humanity, so dirty, so tainted, so very much in need of repair!The Top 10 Diets of 2013 Are All Useless (Except to Book Publishers)
December 29, 2013
The Athenians, we may believe, had been tainted by the baseness of their confederates.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
This is now a tainted place, and I well know the taint of it clings to me.Little Dorrit
No one can suspect Hogarth to have been tainted by the vices he exposed.
Yet he knew how little the man was tainted with the disease of these others.The Golden Woman
But he could keep the army no longer in the tainted air of Jaffa.At Aboukir and Acre
George Alfred Henty
- 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 tainted
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.