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tr.v. taint·ed, taint·ing, taints
1. To affect or associate with something undesirable or reprehensible: a reputation that was tainted by allegations of illegal activity.
a. To expose to an infectious agent, toxin, or undesirable substance: drinking water that is tainted with parasites; toothpaste that is tainted with toxic metals.
b. To subject to decay or putrefaction: would not eat the meat for fear that it was tainted. See Synonyms at contaminate.
1. An undesirable or corrupting influence or association: wanted to avoid the taint of an accounting scandal. See Synonyms at stain.
2. An undesirable quality; a defect or shortcoming: "I confess to a taint of exhibitionism" (F. Scott Fitzgerald).
[Partly from obsolete taynt, to color, dye (from Anglo-Norman teint, from past participle of teindre, from Latin tingere), and partly from Middle English tainten, to convict (short for atteinten, from Old French ataint, past participle of ataindre, to attain, touch upon; see attain).]
n. Vulgar Slang
[From such phrases as 'tain't asshole and 'tain't pussy and 'tain't asshole and 'tain't balls.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.