Distain

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • v. t Distain To tinge with a different color from the natural or proper one; to stain; to discolor; to sully; to tarnish; to defile; -- used chiefly in poetry. "Distained with dirt and blood.""She] hath . . . distained her honorable blood.""The worthiness of praise distains his worth."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • distain To take away the color of; hence, to weaken the effect of by comparison; cause to pale; outvie.
    • distain To tinge with any color different from the natural or proper one; discolor; stain: as, a sword distained with blood.
    • distain To blot; sully; defile; tarnish.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Distain dis-tān′ to stain: to sully.
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. desteinen, OF. desteindre, to take away the color, F. déteindre,; pref. des-,L. dis-,) + F. teindre, to tinge, dye, L. tingere,. See Tinge, and cf. Stain
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. desteindre, to take away the colour of—L. dis, neg., and tingĕre, to stain. See Stain.

Usage

In literature:

The crimson stream distain'd his arms around, And the disdainful soul came rushing thro' the wound.
"The Aeneid" by Virgil
Th' old arrystocracy distained to thrade but started banks an' got all th' money.
"Mr. Dooley Says" by Finley Dunne
Amidst all the grandeur of tapestry and painting one must not lose sight of the simpler methods, for they are not to be distained.
"Furnishing the Home of Good Taste" by Lucy Abbot Throop
A faint farewell with trembling hand I tender, And with my tears my papers are distained.
"Elizabethan Sonnet Cycles" by Thomas Lodge and Giles Fletcher
May coward shame distain his name, The wretch that dares not die!
"Lyra Heroica" by Various
Keep, then, fair league and truce with thy true bed; I live distain'd, thou undishonoured.
"The Comedy of Errors" by William Shakespeare
Then were the stones distain'd With silenc'd Orpheus' blood.
"The Metamorphoses of Publius Ovidus Naso in English blank verse Vols. I & II" by Ovid
Pure pearls of heat had late distained the dye, But flowery wine was sparkling in her eye.
"The Birth of the War-God" by Kalidasa
***

In poetry:

From noting the size of her gaiters
True gentlemen never abstain;
If larger than those of a bay
They pass her in royal distain.
"The Misanthrope's Reverie" by Joseph Warren Watson
Now farewell light, thou sunshine bright,
And all beneath the sky!
May coward shame distain his name,
The wretch that dares not die!
Sae rantingly, &c.
"M'Pherson's Rant" by Robert Burns
Sir Walter returned from the far Holy Land,
And a blood-tinctured falchion he bore;
But such precious blood as now darkened his sword
Had never distained it before.
"The Warrior's Return" by Amelia Opie
Not Somerville, the Muse's friend of old,
Though now exalted to yon ambient sky,
So shunn'd a soul distain'd with earth and gold,
So loved the pure, the generous breast, as I.
"Elegy IX. He Describes His Disinterestedness to a Friend" by William Shenstone
'A part my wedding robes I tore,
And guarded tears now gushing o'er
Distain'd the bridal bed:
Wild I invoked the funeral yell,
And sought devoted now to dwell
For ever with the dead.
"Monimia. An Ode" by John Logan
Bad poets make good verse, they say;
The Great have not distained to woo
The modest muse of every day;
Read Longfellow and Byron through,
The fabric test - much verse you'll see
Compared with what is poetry.
"My Masters" by Robert W Service

In news:

The Internet is often viewed with love or distain when it comes to skate footage.
My "spidey sense" tells me she's trying to hide her distain for the ute.
***

In science:

Feyman even insisted on conference registrations under a pseudonym (for example in 1957, Chapel Hill, NC) to express his distain to unphysical interpretation of gravitational phenomena.
NASA tests of Einstein's Universe call for non-empty space physics of nonlocal classical matter
***