From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. To attain; to get act; to hit.

2. To find guilty; to convict; said especially. Of a jury on trial for giving a false verdict. Upon sufficient proof attainted of some open act by men of his own condition. (Blackstone)

3. 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. No person shall be attainted of high treason where corruption of blood is incurred, but by the oath of two witnesses. (stat. 7 & 8 Wm. III)

4. To accuse; to charge with a crime or a dishonorable act.

5. To affect or infect, as with physical or mental disease or with moral contagion; to taint or corrupt. My tender youth was never yet attaint With any passion of inflaming love. (Shak)

6. To stain; to obscure; to sully; to disgrace; to cloud with infamy. For so exceeding shone his glistring ray, That Phbus' golden face it did attaint. (Spenser) Lest she with blame her honor should attaint. (Spenser)

Origin: oe. Atteynten to convict, fr. Atteynt, OF. Ateint, p. P. Of ateindre, ataindre. The meanings 3, 4, 5, and 6 were influenced by a supposed connection with taint. See attain, attainder.

1. A touch or hit.

2. (Science: veterinary) a blow or wound on the leg of a horse, made by overreaching.

3. 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.

4. A stain or taint; disgrace. See taint.

5. An infecting influence.

Origin: OF. Attainte. See attaint, v.