The word “tincture” has more than one meaning in English. The Concise Oxford Dictionary has the following: “1 a slight flavor or trace. 2 a tinge (of a color). 3 a medicinal solution (of a drug) in alcohol (tincture of quinine). 4Heraldry an inclusive term for the metals, colors, and furs used in coats of arms.”
The word is used by specialists in particular fields and is uncommon in general conversation. However, some of the concepts associated with the word, if not the word itself, have potential value for those who are concerned with color and appearance. In meaning 2, the word refers to very subtle colors. A reporter might describe a bride’s dress as having a beautiful tincture, white with a tinge of pink.
The word has a particular meaning in heraldry (meaning 4), and this draws attention to the lack of a word in general English usage that could embrace several different aspects of appearance in a single word. In heraldry, tincture includes color, luster, and texture. In...