• (British) IPA: /ˈtɪŋ(k).tʃə/, /ˈtɪŋk.tjʊə/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈtɪŋk.tʃɚ/

tincture (plural tinctures)

  1. A pigment or other substance that colours or dyes.
  2. A tint, or an added colour.
  3. (heraldry) A colour or metal used in the depiction of a coat of arms.
  4. An alcoholic extract of plant material, used as a medicine.
  5. (humorous) A small alcoholic drink.
  6. An essential characteristic.
    • 1924, W. D. Ross (translator), Aristotle, Metaphysics, Nashotah, Wisconsin, USA: The Classical Library, 2001. Book 1, Part 6.
      for the earlier thinkers had no tincture of dialectic
  7. 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.
  8. A slight taste superadded to any substance.
    a tincture of orange peel
  9. A slight quality added to anything; a tinge.
    • 1734, Alexander Pope, Epistle to Cobham
      All manners take a tincture from our own.
    • 18, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 1, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume (please specify ), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323 ↗:
Translations Translations Verb

tincture (tinctures, present participle tincturing; past and past participle tinctured)

  1. To stain or impregnate (something) with color.
    • 1740, David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, Part III, Section IX,
      The passions of fear and hope may arise when the chances are equal on both sides, and no superiority can be discovered in the one above the other. Nay, in this situation the passions are rather the strongest, as the mind has then the least foundation to rest upon, and is tossed with the greatest uncertainty. Throw in a superior degree of probability to the side of grief, you immediately see that passion diffuse itself over the composition, and tincture it into fear.
    • 1911, The Mining World, Volume 34, p. 73,
      No definite system was used for testing the tincturing and spreading powers of the pigments, or for testing their permanence.
    • 1998, Nadine Gordimer, House Gun, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, p. 212,
      Which one of the carefully chosen assessors, one white, one sufficiently tinctured to pass as black, was it who was speaking […]
  2. (figurative) To tinge; to taint.
    • 1674 John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book V, 277-85, [https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Paradise_Lost_(1674)/Book_V]
      Six wings he wore, to shade / His lineaments divine; the pair that clad / Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his breast / With regal ornament; the middle pair / Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round / Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold / And colours dipt in Heaven; the third his feet / Shadowed from either heel with feathered mail, / Sky-tinctured grain.
    • 1797, William Blake, Vala, or The Four Zoas, in W. H. Stevenson (ed.), Blake: The Complete Poems, London: Routledge, 3rd edition, 2007, "Night the Seventh," 759-60, p. 413,
      And first he drew a line upon the walls of shining heaven, / And Enitharmon tinctured it with beams of blushing love.
    • 1820, Letter from Joseph Severn to John Taylor, Rome, 24 December, 1820,
      Now observe, my dear Sir, I don’t for a moment push my little but honest Religious faith upon poor Keats, except as far as my feelings go, but these I try to keep from him. I fall into his views sometimes to quiet him and tincture them with a somewhat of mine, […]
    • 1924, Herman Melville, Billy Budd, London: Constable & Co., Chapter 10,
      As it is, one must turn to some authority not liable to the charge of being tinctured with the Biblical element.
    • 1982, Saul Bellow, "Him with His Foot in His Mouth" in Collected Stories, New York: Viking, 2001, p. 379,
      They have too many books, most of them burdensome. The crowded shelves give off an inviting, consoling, seductive odor that is also tinctured faintly with something pernicious, with poison and doom.
  3. To soak (an organic substance) in alcohol or another liquid to produce a tincture.
    • 1995, Deb Soule, The Woman's Handbook of Herbal Healing: A Guide to Natural Remedies, New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2011, Chapter 2,
      I prefer to tincture each herb separately and mix combinations as I need them.
    • 2009, Greg A. Marley, Mushrooms for Health: Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi, Down East Books,
      At its simplest, tincturing involves chopping or grinding the source material as finely as possible, covering it with ethyl (grain) alcohol, and allowing the mixture to macerate, or steep, for two weeks or more.

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