Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To impart a stigma to; disgrace.
  • transitive verb To pass a sentence of attainder against.
  • transitive verb Archaic To infect or corrupt, as with illness or vice.
  • transitive verb Archaic To accuse.
  • noun A disgrace; a stigma.
  • noun Obsolete Attainder.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Attainted; convicted.
  • Tainted; corrupted; infected; attacked.
  • To touch; hit in tilting.
  • To attain; ascertain.
  • To convict (a jury) of having given a false verdict.
  • To affect with attainder; pass judgment on, as on one found guilty of a crime, as felony or treason, involving forfeiture of civil privileges.
  • To accuse: with of: as, to attaint a person of sorcery.
  • To affect with any passion or emotion.
  • To taint; disgrace; cloud with infamy; stain; corrupt.
  • noun The act of touching or hitting; specifically, in tilting, a hit.
  • noun A blow or wound on the leg of a horse caused by overreaching.
  • noun An ancient legal process instituted for reversing a false verdict given by a jury; conviction of a jury for giving such a verdict.
  • noun In old law: A conviction. Impeachment.
  • noun Infection; injurious or deleterious action.
  • noun Attainder.
  • noun A stain, spot, or taint; hence, a disgrace; an imputation involving dishonor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • past participle obsolete Attainted; corrupted.
  • noun A touch or hit.
  • noun (Far.) A blow or wound on the leg of a horse, made by overreaching.
  • noun (Law) A writ which lies after judgment, to inquire whether a jury has given a false verdict in any court of record; also, the convicting of the jury so tried.
  • noun A stain or taint; disgrace. See Taint.
  • noun rare An infecting influence.
  • transitive verb obsolete To attain; to get act; to hit.
  • transitive verb (Old Law), obsolete To find guilty; to convict; -- said esp. of a jury on trial for giving a false verdict.
  • transitive verb (Law) To subject (a person) to the legal condition formerly resulting from a sentence of death or outlawry, pronounced in respect of treason or felony; to affect by attainder.
  • transitive verb Archaic To accuse; to charge with a crime or a dishonorable act.
  • transitive verb To affect or infect, as with physical or mental disease or with moral contagion; to taint or corrupt.
  • transitive verb To stain; to obscure; to sully; to disgrace; to cloud with infamy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective obsolete Convicted, attainted.
  • verb archaic To subject to attainder; to condemn (someone) to death and extinction of all civil rights.
  • verb archaic To subject to calumny; to accuse of a crime or dishonour.
  • verb To taint; to corrupt, sully.
  • noun archaic A blow or strike, especially in jousting.
  • noun A wound on the leg of a horse caused by a blow
  • noun obsolete, law The giving of a false verdict by a jury; the conviction of such a jury, and the reversal of the verdict

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb bring shame or dishonor upon
  • verb condemn by attainder

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English attainten, from Old French ataint, past participle of ataindre, to affect; see attain.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French ateint, past participle of ateindre.

Examples

  • 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.

    Story Hour Readings: Seventh Year

  • 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.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 2: Assizes-Browne

  • Others of his following failed not in the "attaint," and horses and troopers floundered in the sand.

    Under the Rose

  • The blood of one convicted of high treason is "attaint," and his deprivations extend to his descendants, unless Parliament remove the attainder.

    The English Mail-Coach and Joan of Arc

  • This politic selection did not alter the fortune of the field, the challengers were still successful: one of their antagonists was overthrown, and both the others failed in the "attaint", [18] 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.

    Ivanhoe

  • The careers of able officials and of CIA officers to whom the nation owed much were ruined, and they were nearly bankrupted — while the prime mover was judged too popular to attaint.

    The Politics Of Vengeance

  • S: (v) dishonor, disgrace, dishonour, attaint, shame (bring shame or dishonor upon) “he dishonored his family by committing a serious crime”

    Think Progress » Defense Department Disavows Santorum’s WMD Claims

  • They paused facing each other, and examined eagerly into their respective means of defence before hazarding a blow, which, if it missed, its attaint would certainly be fatally requited.

    Count Robert of Paris

  • Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont all provided, in their early constitutions, that the legislature had no power to attaint any person of treason.29 The federal Constitution radically restricted this king of crimes: it defined its content, once and for all, and hedged in treason trials with procedural safeguards.

    A History of American Law

  • Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont all provided, in their early constitutions, that the legislature had no power to attaint any person of treason.29 The federal Constitution radically restricted this king of crimes: it defined its content, once and for all, and hedged in treason trials with procedural safeguards.

    A History of American Law

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