A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Taint (verb active)

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To Taint. v.a. [teindre, French.]

  1. To imbue or impregnate with any thing.

                    The spaniel struck
    Stiff by the tainted gale, with open nose
    Draws full upon the latent prey.

  2. To stain; to sully.

    We come not by the way of accusation
    To taint that honour every good tongue blesses.

                      Sirens taint
    The minds of all men, whom they can acquaint
    With their attractions.
    Chapman's Odyssey, b. xii.

                    They the truth
    With superstitions and traditions taint.

    Those pure immortal elements
    Eject him tainted now, and purge him off
    As a distemper.

  3. To infect.

    Nothing taints sound lungs sooner than inspiring the breath of consumptive lungs. Harvey on Consumptions.

    Salts in fumes contract the vesicles, and perhaps the tainted air may affect the lungs by its heat. Arbuthnot on Air.

    With wholesome herbage mixt, the direful bane
    Of vegetable venom taints the plain.

  4. To corrupt.

    A sweet-bread you found it tainted or fly-blown. Swift.

                The yellow tinging plague
    Internal vision taints.
    Thomson's Spring.

  5. A corrupt contraction of attaint.

Sources: Arbuthnot, John (227) · Chapman, George (6) · Harvey, Gideon (42) · Shakespeare's Henry VIII (62) · Milton, John (449) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Thomson, James (73)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Taint (verb active)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 12, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/taint-verb-active/.

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