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.

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.

verb (used without object)

  1. to become tainted; spoil.

noun Slang: Vulgar.

  1. the area between the testicles or vulva and the anus; the perineum.


  1. to affect or be affected by pollution or contaminationoil has tainted the water
  2. to tarnish (someone’s reputation, etc)


  1. a defect or flawa taint on someone’s reputation
  2. a trace of contamination or infection

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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