Definition of taint in English:

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Pronunciation: /teɪnt/


1A trace of a bad or undesirable substance or quality: the lingering taint of creosote the taint of corruption which adhered to the government
More example sentences
  • She should have the best of forage, the purest of water, the cleanest and best of ventilated stables, and the air should be free from any taint of noxious vapors - in a word, the entire environment of this faithful animal should be as carefully and honestly protected as though she was human and not brute.
  • It is as clean as the newest and freshest rubber, you can throw it over the daintiest lady's dress with perfect safety, you can hang it in the same closet with your evening clothes and get no taint of odor.
trace, touch, suggestion, hint, tinge, tincture;
smear, stain, blot, blemish, slur, stigma, tarnish, scar, black mark, spot, imperfection, flaw, fault, defect, blot on one's escutcheon;
discredit, dishonour, disgrace, shame
1.1Something with a contaminating influence or effect: the taint that threatens to stain most of the company’s other partners
More example sentences
  • Right now, the judge has got to see that there's a possibility of some taint to this jury pool.
  • The problem is that I am apparently carrying a taint.
  • A low level of taint will disappear in a few minutes.


[with object]
1Contaminate or pollute (something): the air was tainted by fumes from the cars
More example sentences
  • Pollution from Asia can taint the air along the West Coast of the U.S., said scientists on Friday at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • Pollution, noise, tainted food, plastics, celebrity boxing - we live in an alarmingly toxic environment.
  • The substitute eliminates the problem of donated blood being tainted by infections or impurities.
contaminate, pollute, adulterate, infect, blight, befoul, spoil, soil, ruin, destroy
1.1Affect with a bad or undesirable quality: his administration was tainted by scandal
More example sentences
  • The market has been tainted with poor quality products, dismal performance and overwhelming disappointment.
  • But some of the most prominent have been tainted by scandal.
  • Both tainted by scandal, they are also the most polarizing figures from each of their respective parties.
tarnish, sully, blacken, stain, besmirch, smear, blot, blemish, stigmatize, mar, corrupt, defile, soil, muddy, foul, dirty, damage, injure, harm, hurt, debase, infect, poison, vitiate, drag through the mud, blot one's copybook;
1.2 [no object] archaic (Of food or water) become contaminated or polluted: the rennet should be soaked in water containing sufficient salt to keep it from tainting
More example sentences
  • When ice is covered, odors will accumulate and the food will taint.
  • One such recommends using an old 'fridge for smoking, "but be careful not to get it too hot or the food will taint from the burning plastic!"



Pronunciation: /ˈteɪntləs/
adjective ( literary)
Example sentences
  • Margaret remembered the sun along the horizon made the sky seem to be a taintless shade of magenta that somehow faded into a burnt orange that illuminated the dawn sky.
  • Bending closer to the edge of the rock surface, he observed about the ocean, the ocean that was once blue as the morning sky and taintless as a newborn child.
  • He becomes sinless, taintless, free from doubts, a true Brahmana (knower of Brahman).


Middle English (as a verb in the sense 'convict, prove guilty'): partly from Old French teint 'tinged', based on Latin tingere 'to dye, tinge'; partly a shortening of attaint.

Words that rhyme with taint

acquaint, ain't, attaint, complaint, constraint, distraint, faint, feint, paint, plaint, quaint, restraint, saint

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: taint

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