AskDefine | Define tincture

Dictionary Definition



1 a substances that colors metals
2 an indication that something has been present; "there wasn't a trace of evidence for the claim"; "a tincture of condescension" [syn: trace, vestige, shadow]
3 a quality of a given color that differs slightly from a primary color; "after several trials he mixed the shade of pink that she wanted" [syn: shade, tint, tone]
4 (pharmacology) a medicine consisting of an extract in an alcohol solution


1 fill, as with a certain quality; "The heavy traffic tinctures the air with carbon monoxide" [syn: impregnate, infuse, instill]
2 stain or tint with a color; "The leaves were tinctured with a bright red"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. a pigment or other substance that colours or dyes
  2. a tint, or an added colour
  3. : 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. a small alcoholic drink
  6. an essential characteristic
    • 1924: ARISTOTLE. Metaphysics. Translated by W. D. Ross. Nashotah, Wisconsin, USA: The Classical Library, 2001. Available at: . Book 1, Part 6.
      for the earlier thinkers had no tincture of dialectic


an alcoholic extract
  • Italian: alcolato
an essential characteristic
  • Portuguese: idéia


  1. to stain or impregnate (something) with colour

Extensive Definition

This article is about alcoholic liquids. For the colors used in a coat of arms, see tincture (heraldry).
In medicine, a tincture is an alcoholic extract (e.g. of a herb) or solution of a non-volatile substance; e.g. of iodine, mercurochrome ). To qualify as a tincture, the alcoholic extract is to have a ethanol percentage of at least 40-60% (sometimes a 90% percent pure liquid is even achieved). . Solutions of volatile substances were called spirits, although that name was also given to several other materials obtained by distillation, even when they did not include alcohol.

General method of preparation

A general method of preparation on how tinctures can be prepared is the following :
  • Herbs are put in a jar and a spirit of 40°C pure ethanol is added
  • The jar is closed and left to stand for 2-3 weeks. It is shaken every once in a while.
To make a more precise tincture, more extensive measuring can be done by combining 1 part herbs with a water-ethanol mixture of 2-10 parts, depending on the herb itself. With most tinctures however, 1 part water at 5 parts ethanol is used.

Examples of tinctures

Some examples that were formerly common in medicine include:
Examples of spirits include:

See also


External links

tincture in German: Tinktur
tincture in Dutch: Tinctuur
tincture in Japanese: チンキ
tincture in Polish: Nalewka (farmacja)
tincture in Portuguese: Tintura
tincture in Russian: Настойка (лекарственная форма)
tincture in Finnish: Tinktuura
tincture in Thai: ทิงเจอร์

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

achievement, achromatism, alerion, animal charge, annulet, apply paint, argent, armorial bearings, armory, arms, azure, bandeau, bar, bar sinister, baton, bearings, bedaub, bedizen, begild, bend, bend sinister, besmear, besprinkle, billet, blazon, blazonry, bordure, breathe, brew, broad arrow, brush on paint, cadency mark, calcimine, canton, cast, chaplet, charge, chevron, chief, chromatism, chromism, chromogen, coat, coat of arms, coat of paint, coating, cockatrice, color, color balance, color filter, color gelatin, color harmony, color scheme, colorant, coloration, coloring, complexion, coronet, cover, crescent, crest, cross, cross moline, crown, dab, dash, daub, dead-color, decoct, decorator color, deep-dye, device, difference, differencing, dip, distemper, double-dye, dredge, drier, dye, dyestuff, eagle, emblazon, enamel, engild, entincture, ermine, ermines, erminites, erminois, escutcheon, exterior paint, face, falcon, fast-dye, fess, fess point, field, file, flanch, flat coat, flat wash, flavor, fleur-de-lis, floor enamel, fresco, fret, fur, fusil, garland, gild, glaze, gleam, gloss, grain, griffin, ground, gules, gyron, hatchment, helmet, heraldic device, hint, honor point, hue, idea, illuminate, imbrue, imbue, impalement, impaling, impregnate, inescutcheon, infiltrate, infuse, infusion, ingrain, inkling, instill, interior paint, intimation, japan, key, label, lacquer, lay on color, leaven, lick, lion, look, lozenge, mantling, marshaling, martlet, mascle, medium, metal, motto, mullet, natural color, nombril point, octofoil, opaque color, or, ordinary, orle, paint, pale, pallor, paly, parget, pean, penetrate, permeate, pervade, pheon, pigment, prime, prime coat, primer, priming, purpure, quarter, quartering, rose, sable, saltire, saturate, sauce, scintilla, scutcheon, season, seasoning, shade, shadow, shellac, shield, sip, skin color, slop on paint, smack, smattering, smear, smell, soupcon, spark, spice, spread eagle, sprinkling, stain, steep, stipple, strain, streak, subordinary, suffuse, suggestion, sup, suspicion, taint, taste, temper, tempera, tempering, tenne, thinner, thought, tinct, tinction, tinge, tint, tone, torse, touch, trace, transfuse, transparent color, tressure, turpentine, turps, undercoat, undercoating, undercolor, unicorn, vair, varnish, vehicle, vert, vestige, wash, wash coat, whitewash, wreath, yale
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