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Taint, vb. (t. for --ed in H6A V, 3, 183; cf. V, 5, 81), 1) trans. a) to imbue, to touch: “a pure unspotted heart, never yet t. with love, I send the king,” H6A V, 3, 183. “Nero will be --ed with remorse,” H6C III, 1, 40. cf. attaint in H6A V, 5, 81.
b) to soil, to stain: “which I will not t. my mouth with,” H8 III, 2, 332. “their breaths with sweetmeats --ed are,” Rom. I, 4, 76. In H5 I, 2, 173 some M. Edd. taint, others tear; O. Edd. corruptly tame.
c) to infect with a disease: “whether thou art --ed or free,” Meas. I, 2, 44. “I am a --ed wether of the flock,” Merch. IV, 1, 114. Applied to diseases of the mind: “pray heaven his wisdom be not --ed,” Meas. IV, 4, 5. “wise men, folly-fallen, quite t. their wit,” Tw. III, 1, 75. “the man is --ed in's wits,” III, 4, 14. “pride, which out of daily fortune ever --s the happy man,” Cor. IV, 7, 38. Absol.: “danger, like an ague, subtly --s even then when we sit idly in the sun,” Troil. III, 3, 232.
d) to injure, to prejudice, to impair, to take from: “travel-tainted as I am,” H4B IV, 3, 40 (weakened, exhausted by travelling). “that my disports corrupt and t. my business,” Oth. I, 3, 272. “his unkindness may defeat my life, but never t. my love,” IV, 2, 161.
e) to stain in a moral sense, to defile, to corrupt: “by our ears our hearts oft --ed are,” Lucr. 38. which (blood) “by him --ed shall for him be spent,” Lucr. 38 “corrupt and --ed in desire,” Wiv. V, 5, 94. “bear a fair presence, though your heart be --ed,” Err. III, 2, 13. “her foul --ed flesh,” Ado IV, 1, 145. “what plea so --ed and corrupt,” Merch. III, 2, 75. “a very --ed fellow, and full of wickedness,” All's III, 2, 89. “let no quarrel t. the condition of this present hour,” Tw. V, 365. “corrupt and --ed with a thousand vices,” H6A V, 4, 45. “t. not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive against thy mother aught,” Hml. I, 5, 85. “if thy faith be not --ed with the breach of hers,” Cymb. III, 4, 27. “to t. his nobler heart and brain with jealousy,” V, 4, 65.
f) to disgrace, to discredit, to expose to blame: “punish my life for --ing of my love,” Tw. V, 141. “my age was never -- ed with such shame,” H6A IV, 5, 46. “to t. that honour every good tongue blesses,” H8 III, 1, 55. “brought him, as a man sorely --ed, to his answer,” IV, 2, 14. “speaking too loud, or --ing his discipline,” Oth. II, 1, 275.
2) intr. a) to be affected with incipient putrefaction, to be corrupted: you cannot preserve it (flesh) “from --ing,” Cymb. I, 4, 148.
b) to be infected and corrupted in a moral sense: “I cannot t. with fear,” Mcb. V, 3, 3.
c) to be impaired, to become stale and tasteless: “lest the device take air and t.” Tw. III, 4, 145
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