- to affect with something physically injurious, unpleasant, etc.; infect, poison, etc.
- to affect with putrefaction or decay; spoil
- to make morally corrupt
- Obs. to sully or stain
Origin of taintprobably a merging of Middle English taynten, to touch (aphetic from ataynten, attaint) + Anglo-French teinter, to color from teint, past participle of Old French teindre from Classical Latin tingere, to wet, moisten: see tinge
- a trace of corruption, disgrace, evil, etc.
- an infectious or contaminating trace; infection, decay, etc.