38

I want to use taint in a positive context, something along the lines of:

I will have the opportunity to taint my life with the culture and experiences of others.

What would be a better word for this purpose?

  • 1
    You need to put more context to the question. What do you want to taint your life with? For what purpose? – user140086 Dec 17 '15 at 11:15
  • 3
    Taint always has a negative connotation. It means pollute. Depending on your response to @Rathony (which I encourage you to make), there might be a good choice, like anoint. – deadrat Dec 17 '15 at 11:18
  • @Rathony Sorry for not including in the OP. The entire would be "I will have the opportunity to enhance my life with the culture and experiences of others." – Najm Sheikh Dec 17 '15 at 11:57
  • @NajmSheikh Please try to include as much information as possible when posting a question. I would advise you to take the tour and visit our help center to see how it works here. – user140086 Dec 17 '15 at 12:05
  • 1
    @Neptunian: I think the normal usage of "purify" is to remove something bad (contaminates). The OP wants to add good things. For example, you wouldn't purify water by adding nutrients. – James Dec 18 '15 at 16:19

11 Answers 11

49

You might consider enrich. Like enhance, enrich means to increase the value of something. Dictionary.com offers this definition:

to make finer in quality, as by supplying desirable elements or ingredients

While enhance is positive and fits the context, I feel that enrich more aptly conveys the idea that not only are you steeping your life in positive things, but also that you personally value the opportunity to do so.

Taint doesn't imply that you want to besmirch your life or that you value doing so, but it does suggest a stain caused by deep soaking -- I feel enrich conveys the notion of "soaking yourself in something" better than enhance does.

  • Yep! That's the word I was looking for. Thank you! – Najm Sheikh Dec 17 '15 at 12:43
63

I like imbue.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/imbue

imbue

verb (used with object), imbued, imbuing.

  1. to impregnate or inspire, as with feelings, opinions, etc.: The new political leader was imbued with the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

  2. to saturate or impregnate with moisture, color, etc.

  3. to imbrue.

Note the very close and etymologically related word "imbrue" as the third definition, which literally means "stain". As such, this suggestion might be closest to what you seek.

  • 3
    Imbue is a lovely word. This is a great suggestion. – Kit Z. Fox Dec 17 '15 at 23:36
  • Imbue wouldn't fit perfectly into the OP's sentence, IMO. You would "imbue your life with [the something you gain from] the the culture and experience of others". Without something in the brackets, I don't think "the culture and experience of others" is something you can directly imbue your life with. enrich and infuse both work, though. – Peter Cordes Dec 20 '15 at 6:56
  • 1
    @PeterCordes I agree. The accepted answer is a better straight replacement for taint in that particular sentence. In any case, I prefer "by" to "with" when used with taint (and "with" is the only one that makes sense with imbue). I was offering another suggestion that would work with a different sentence structure. – Deepak Dec 20 '15 at 7:15
31

I think "infuse" would work well.

transitive verb: to cause to be permeated with something (as a principle or quality) that alters usually for the better

19

Color?

As a verb,

to give a special character or distinguishing quality to

and borrowing connotation from the noun form

details in description, customs, speech, habits, etc., of a place or period

To me, taint brings to mind discoloring, perhaps from the similarity to tint and paint, although that might just be a personal bias.

  • 3
    I agree that taint has a sense of discoloring, like staining. I think coloring is a natural antonym for that sense. – Kit Z. Fox Dec 17 '15 at 23:36
9

suffuse

to gradually spread through or over

Usage is mostly past tense (suffused), and tends to refer to a soft introduction of light and colour.

7

There is 'enhance'

Enhance - verb (used with object), enhanced, enhancing.

1 - to raise to a higher degree; intensify; magnify: The candelight enhanced her beauty.

2 - to raise the value or price of: Rarity enhances the worth of old coins.

www.dictionary.com

In your example 'I will have the opportunity to enhance my life with [this thing]...'

3

My first thought was augment.

make (something) greater by adding to it; increase

1

I think imbue has the suggestion of changing the "color" of ones outward appearance. Another possibility with bread-baking analogy would be leaven which would have the nice aspect of implying that other peoples experience was being used as "yeast".

1

For a colorful variant, I like gild.

to cover (something) with a thin layer of gold

1

Contaminate is generally negative but often used with an openly positive connotation, f.ex. to indicate the influence of a style on another. In my opinion it would fit nicely in your context.

ADDED: See f.ex. http://www.britannica.com/art/contamination .

  • 3
    I disagree - I've never heard it used with a positive connotation. – person27 Dec 19 '15 at 2:24
  • I've heard it used in a facetious sense. Maybe that's what you were thinking? – shawnt00 Dec 21 '15 at 3:31
  • @shawnt00 et al. I mean f.ex. ... you hear a reggae contaminated with other rhythms ..., or ... Tula Troubles – a contamination of ska and reggae that also combines ..., or ... a reggae/dancehall album contaminated both in the undertones ..., or just google it for any music genre or other forms of art. Whether it's Oxford - or even correct - English is surely debatable at will though. – SantiBailors Dec 21 '15 at 9:02
  • I wasn't one of the three to vote up that comment just so you know. Are you sure that usage from your examples isn't kind of limited to the reggae scene? – shawnt00 Dec 21 '15 at 12:53
  • @shawnt00 I know, I notified you just because you had asked a meaningful question about what I was referring to and I was just replying to that. If I could notify more than one user I would have notified FizzledOut too, and I think his/her comment makes a fair observation since he/she never heard the word in the sense I was talking about; that shows that its use is less common than I thought. I just wanted to point out that in my opinion it's definitely used in that sense too, and I still think it's a very good substitute for taint in the sense the OP mentioned. – SantiBailors Dec 21 '15 at 13:06
-1

How about dope or doping? Like in a transistor?

  • 1
    Doesn't doping usually have a negative connotation – Najm Sheikh Dec 18 '15 at 20:02
  • 3
    "Dope your life, maaaaaaaaaaaan!" – Vectornaut Dec 18 '15 at 20:05
  • I like it, but it's unlikely to be understood (worse, it's likely to be misunderstood) by non-technical folks. A small addition (the dopant) creates a large effect. Maybe catalyze would work. – Spehro Pefhany Dec 20 '15 at 14:21
  • Please fully explain your answer. – Matt E. Эллен Dec 21 '15 at 21:03

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