TINCTURE (Fr. teinture, Lat. tinctura, tingere, to dye, stain), the colour with which a substance is dyed; hence, metaphorically, distinctive character or quality. The term is used in heraldry of the metals, argent, or, of the colours, gules, azure, sable, vent, &c., or of the furs, ermine, vain, &C. Since the 16th century a conventional arrangement of lines and dots gives the equivalents of these tinctures in black and white (see Heraldry). In medicine, a tincture is a fluid solution of the essential properties of some substance, animal, vegetable or mineral; the menstruum being either alcohol, ether or ammonia; the various kinds are accordingly distinguished as alcoholic, etherial or ammoniated tinctures.
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