American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


TAINT, verb transitive [Latin tingo; Gr. to dye, literally to dip, primarily to thrust, the sense of Latin tango; and n not being radical, the real word is tego or tago, coinciding with Eng. duck; hence its sense in extinguo. See Dye, Attaint and Tinge.]

1. To imbue or impregnate, as with some extraneous matter which alters the sensible qualities of the substance.

The spaniel struck

Stiff by the tainted gale--

2. More generally, to impregnate with something odious, noxious or poisonous; as, putrid substances taint the air.

3. To infect; to poison. The breath of consumptive lungs is said to taint sound lungs.

4. To corrupt, as by incipient putrefaction; as tainted meat.

5. To stain; to sully; to tarnish.

We come not by the way of accusation

To taint that honor every good tongue blesses.

6. To corrupt, as blood; to attaint. [Not in use.] [See Attaint.]

TAINT, verb intransitive To be infected or corrupted; to be touched with something corrupting.

I cannot taint with fear.

1. To be affected with incipient putrefaction.

Meat soon taints in warm weather.

TAINT, noun Tincture; stain.

1. Infection; corruption; depravation. Keep children from the taint of low and vicious company.

2. A stain; a spot; a blemish on reputation.

3. An insect; a kind of spider.