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Definition of "attaint" []

  • To impart stigma to; disgrace: "No breath of calumny ever attainted the personal purity of Savonarola” ( Henry Hart Milman). (verb-transitive)
  • To pass a sentence of attainder against. (verb-transitive)
  • Archaic To infect or corrupt, as with illness or vice. (verb-transitive)
  • Archaic To accuse. (verb-transitive)
  • Obsolete Attainder. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "attaint" in a sentence
  • "One of their antagonists was overthrown and both the others failed in the attaint, that is, in striking the helmet and shield of their antagonist firmly and strongly with the lance held in a direct line, so that the weapon might break unless the champion was overthrown."
  • "After it was clear beyond dispute that the criminal was no longer fit to live, he was called attaint, stained, or blackened, and before 6 and 7 Vict., c. 85 p. 1, could not be called as a witness in any court."
  • "Others of his following failed not in the "attaint," and horses and troopers floundered in the sand."