Paint is a liquid, colored substance you can use to decorate or protect a surface. If you want your bedroom walls to be bright purple, you need to buy some purple paint.

Artists use paint to create landscapes, portraits, and other styles of paintings, and house painters use paint to coat and protect the wood siding on houses. When you paint, you make a painting, or cover something with paint: "First I'm going to paint your portrait, and after you paint that wall in your kitchen, we can hang it there." When someone "paints the town red," they don't literally paint anything — they just go on a celebratory spree.

Definitions of paint
  1. noun
    a substance used as a coating to protect or decorate a surface (especially a mixture of pigment suspended in a liquid); dries to form a hard coating
    “artists use ` paint' and `pigment' interchangeably”
    synonyms: pigment
    see moresee less
    show 21 types...
    hide 21 types...
    acrylic, acrylic paint
    used especially by artists
    antifouling paint
    a paint used to protect against the accumulation of barnacles etc. on underwater surfaces
    coat of paint
    a layer of paint covering something else
    paint made by mixing the pigments with water and a binder
    a paint that dries to a hard glossy finish
    a paint consisting of pigment mixed with melted beeswax; it is fixed with heat after application
    finger paint, fingerpaint
    paint that has the consistency of jelly
    house paint, housepaint
    paint used to cover the exterior woodwork of a house
    oil paint
    paint in which a drying oil is the vehicle
    a paint that dries with a finish between glossy and flat
    spray paint
    paint applied with a spray gun
    water-base paint
    paint in which water is used as the vehicle
    a water-base paint containing zinc oxide and glue and coloring; used as a wash for walls and ceilings
    casein, casein paint
    a water-base paint made with a protein precipitated from milk
    finish coat, finishing coat
    the final coat of paint
    flat coat, ground, primer, primer coat, priming, priming coat, undercoat
    the first or preliminary coat of paint or size applied to a surface
    latex, latex paint, rubber-base paint
    a water-base paint that has a latex binder
    oil, oil color, oil colour
    oil paint containing pigment that is used by an artist
    poster color, poster colour, poster paint, tempera
    pigment mixed with water-soluble glutinous materials such as size and egg yolk
    a thin coat of water-base paint
    water-color, water-colour, watercolor, watercolour
    a water-base paint (with water-soluble pigments); used by artists
    type of:
    coat, coating
    a thin layer covering something
    color, coloring material, colour, colouring material
    any material used for its color
  2. noun
    makeup consisting of a pink or red powder applied to the cheeks
    synonyms: blusher, rouge
    see moresee less
    type of:
    make-up, makeup, war paint
    cosmetics applied to the face to improve or change your appearance
  3. verb
    make a painting
    “he painted all day in the garden”
    “He painted a painting of the garden”
    see moresee less
    show 10 types...
    hide 10 types...
    apply colors with one's fingers
    apply (paint) in small dots or strokes
    apply paint to a body
    paint onto wet plaster on a wall
    paint with distemper
    place a heraldic bearing on
    fill in, shade
    represent the effect of shade or shadow on
    make by small short touches that together produce an even or softly graded shadow, as in paint or ink
    watercolor, watercolour
    paint with watercolors
    shade with multiple crossing lines
    type of:
    pursue a creative activity; be engaged in a creative activity
  4. verb
    make a painting of
    see moresee less
    paint again
    type of:
    interpret, represent
    create an image or likeness of
  5. verb
    apply paint to; coat with paint
    “We painted the rooms yellow”
    see moresee less
    show 4 types...
    hide 4 types...
    paint (a surface) to make it look like stone or wood
    paint again
    paint with an airbrush
    ground, prime, undercoat
    cover with a primer; apply a primer to
    type of:
    coat, surface
    put a coat on; cover the surface of; furnish with a surface
  6. verb
    apply a liquid to; e.g., paint the gutters with linseed oil
    see moresee less
    type of:
    provide with a covering or cause to be covered
  7. noun
    (basketball) a space (including the foul line) in front of the basket at each end of a basketball court; usually painted a different color from the rest of the court
    “he dominates play in the paint
    synonyms: key
    see moresee less
    type of:
    an area reserved for some particular purpose
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week