tr.v. at·taint·ed, at·taint·ing, at·taints
1. To impart a stigma to; disgrace: "No breath of calumny ever attainted the personal purity of Savonarola" (Henry Hart Milman).
2. To pass a sentence of attainder against.
3. Archaic To infect or corrupt, as with illness or vice.
4. Archaic To accuse.
1. A disgrace; a stigma.
2. Obsolete Attainder.
[Middle English attainten, from Old French ataint, past participle of ataindre, to affect; see ATTAIN.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.