Attaint – Definition & Meaning

The word “attaint” is not commonly used in everyday conversation, but it is still important to understand its meaning and significance. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of attaint, its origin, and its associations. We will also look at synonyms and antonyms of attaint, as well as some example sentences to help illustrate its use.


At its most basic level, attaint means to bring dishonor or discredit upon something or someone. It can also refer to a legal term that was used in medieval England to describe the process of declaring a person guilty of a crime. In this context, attaint was used to strip a person of their rights and privileges, including the right to own property and the right to vote.


The word attaint comes from the Old French word “ataindre,” which means “to reach” or “to attain.” It was first used in English in the 14th century and was primarily used in legal contexts. Over time, the meaning of the word expanded to include more general connotations of dishonor and discredit.

Meaning in different dictionaries

Different dictionaries offer slightly different definitions of attaint. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “to bring into discredit or dishonor,” while Merriam-Webster defines it as “to bring shame or disgrace upon.” In both cases, the emphasis is on the idea of dishonor or discredit.


Attaint is often associated with legal contexts, particularly in medieval England. It was used to describe the process of declaring someone guilty of a crime and stripping them of their rights and privileges. However, the word has also been used more broadly to describe any situation in which someone or something is discredited or dishonored.


There are several synonyms for attaint, including discredit, dishonor, shame, and disgrace. All of these words convey a sense of something or someone being brought low or stripped of their reputation.


The antonyms of attaint are words that convey the opposite meaning, such as honor, respect, and esteem. These words emphasize the idea of something or someone being held in high regard or esteemed by others.

The same root words

The word attaint shares its root with several other words, including attain, attainder, and attainment. All of these words have to do with the idea of reaching or achieving something, but attaint specifically emphasizes the negative connotations of dishonor and discredit.

Example Sentences

Here are a few example sentences that illustrate the use of attaint:

  • The scandal attainted the reputation of the company and led to a loss of business.
  • The criminal was attainted and stripped of his property and rights.
  • The politician’s lies and corruption attainted his reputation and led to his downfall.
  • The artist’s controversial work was attainted by some critics, but praised by others.
  • The athlete’s doping scandal attainted his achievements and led to his disqualification.
Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Words Wiki
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: