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

  • noun A coloring or dyeing substance; a pigment.
  • noun An imparted color; a tint.
  • noun A quality that colors, pervades, or distinguishes.
  • noun A trace or vestige.
  • noun An alcohol solution of a nonvolatile medicine.
  • noun Heraldry A metal, color, or fur.
  • transitive verb To stain or tint with a color.
  • transitive verb To infuse, as with a quality; impregnate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To imbue with color; impart a shade of color to; tinge; tint; stain.
  • To give a peculiar taste, flavor, or character to; imbue; impregnate; season.
  • To taint; corrupt.
  • noun The color with which anything is imbued or impregnated; natural or distinctive coloring; tint; hue; shade of color.
  • noun In heraldry, one of the metals, colors, or furs used in heraldic achievements.
  • noun Something exhibiting or imparting a tint or shade of color; colored or coloring matter; pigment.
  • noun Infused or derived quality or tone; distinctive character as due to some intermixture or influence; imparted tendency or inclination: used of both material and immaterial things; in alchemy, etc., a supposed spiritual principle or immaterial substance whose character or quality may be infused into material things, then said to be tinctured : as, tincture of the “Red Lion.”
  • noun A shade or modicum of a quality or of the distinctive quality of something; a coloring or flavoring; a tinge; a taste; a spice; a smack: as, a tincture of garlic in a dish.
  • noun A fluid containing the essential principles or elements of some substance diffused through it by solution; specifically, in medicine, a solution of a vegetable, an animal, or sometimes a mineral substance, in a menstruum of alcohol, sulphuric ether, or spirit of ammonia, prepared by maceration, digestion, or (now most commonly) percolation.
  • noun Bitter tincture.

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

  • transitive verb To communicate a slight foreign color to; to tinge; to impregnate with some extraneous matter.
  • transitive verb To imbue the mind of; to communicate a portion of anything foreign to; to tinge.
  • noun A tinge or shade of color; a tint.
  • noun (Her.) One of the metals, colors, or furs used in armory.
  • noun The finer and more volatile parts of a substance, separated by a solvent; an extract of a part of the substance of a body communicated to the solvent.
  • noun (Med.) A solution (commonly colored) of medicinal substance in alcohol, usually more or less diluted; spirit containing medicinal substances in solution.
  • noun a solution of medicinal substance in ether.
  • noun A slight taste superadded to any substance.
  • noun A slight quality added to anything; a tinge.

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

  • noun A pigment or other substance that colours or dyes.
  • noun A tint, or an added colour.
  • noun heraldry A colour or metal used in the depiction of a coat of arms.
  • noun An alcoholic extract of plant material, used as a medicine.
  • noun humorous A small alcoholic drink.
  • noun An essential characteristic.
  • verb to stain or impregnate (something) with colour

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

  • verb stain or tint with a color
  • noun an indication that something has been present
  • noun a quality of a given color that differs slightly from another color
  • noun a substances that colors metals
  • verb fill, as with a certain quality
  • noun (pharmacology) a medicine consisting of an extract in an alcohol solution


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

[Middle English, from Latin tīnctūra, a dyeing, from tīnctus, past participle of tingere, to dye.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Latin tinctura, from the verb tingo. Compare tint, taint.


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  • Main Entry:

    1tinc·ture Listen to the pronunciation of 1tincture






    Middle English, from Latin tinctura act of dyeing, from tinctus, past participle of tingere to tinge


    14th century

    1 aarchaic : a substance that colors, dyes, or stains b: color, tint2 a: a characteristic quality : cast b: a slight admixture : trace 3obsolete : an active principle or extract4: a heraldic metal, color, or fur5: a solution of a medicinal substance in an alcoholic solvent

    Merriam Webster

    February 24, 2008

  • Everything has chains, absolutely nothings changed.

    Take my hand, not my picture, spilled my tincture.

    February 26, 2008

  • Know, her quick blood, proud of his seat,

    Runs dancing through her azure veins ;

    Whose harmony no cold nor heat

    Disturbs, whose hue no tincture stains :

    And the hard rock, wherein it dwells,

    The keenest darts of love repels.

    - Thomas Carew, 'Celia Bleeding'.

    July 28, 2009

  • "'Yes, ma'am, I am,' I agreed, with only a tincture of irony."-Dead as a Doornail, by Charlaine Harris

    May 19, 2011