verb tar·nish \ˈtär-nish\

: to become or cause (metal) to become dull and not shiny

: to damage or ruin the good quality of (something, such as a person's reputation, image, etc.)

Full Definition of TARNISH

transitive verb
:  to dull or destroy the luster of by or as if by air, dust, or dirt :  soil, stain
a :  to detract from the good quality of :  vitiate <his fine dreams now slightly tarnished>
b :  to bring disgrace on :  sully <the scandal has tarnished his reputation>
intransitive verb
:  to become tarnished
tar·nish·able \-ni-shə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of TARNISH

  1. Some foods will tarnish silver.
  2. The scandal tarnished his reputation.

Origin of TARNISH

Middle English ternysshen, from Middle French terniss-, stem of ternir, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German tarnan to hide
First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with TARNISH



: a thin layer on the surface of metal which makes the metal look dull

Full Definition of TARNISH

:  something that tarnishes; especially :  a film of chemically altered material on the surface of a metal (as silver)

Examples of TARNISH

  1. a polish that removes tarnish

First Known Use of TARNISH


Other Metals and Metallurgy Terms

assay, bloom, bullion, ductile, ingot, malleable, patina, plate, temper, tensile


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May 26, 2015
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