besmirch was our Word of the Day on 03/14/2017. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of besmirch in a Sentence
inconsiderately besmirched the white bedsheets with their dirty feet
Recent Examples of besmirch from the Web
But rumors that the film besmirched the Rajputs' honor did not die, egged on by leaders of a fringe group known as the Rajput Karni Sena.
How dare the Vikings fans besmirch our good names — what was left of them, anyway — with unfounded and spurious slanders.
Of course, Fox News couldn't resist a dig at their rival network and its besmirched former personality.
Tomorrow there will be time enough for their credit to be besmirched by late payments or negative rental history.
The National Park Service has announced success in the four-week test run of a technique to remove the stubborn layer of black and gray film that has increasingly besmirched the white marble dome of the Jefferson Memorial.
Point here is not to besmirch the reputation of that 2012 Notre Dame team.
Some residents of Staines didn't appreciate their historically reputable town being besmirched in comedy sketches.
Trump and others have suggested that keeling during the national anthem besmirches the sacrifice of members of the military.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'besmirch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Since the prefix be- in besmirch means "to make or cause to be," when you besmirch something, you cause it to have a smirch. What's a smirch? A smirch is a stain, and "to smirch" is to stain or make dirty. By extension, "to smirch" came to mean "to bring discredit or disgrace on." "Smirch" and "besmirch," then, mean essentially the same thing. We have William Shakespeare to thank for the variation in form. Shakespeare's 1599 use of the term in Henry V is the first known appearance of "besmirch" in English.
First Known Use of besmirch
Synonymsbefoul, begrime, bemire, dirty, blacken, daub, distain [archaic], foul, gaum [dialect], grime, mire, muck, muddy, smirch, smudge, soil, stain, sully
Related Wordscontaminate, defile, pollute, taint; discolor; confuse, disarrange, disarray, dishevel, disorder, draggle, jumble, mess, muddle; colly [chiefly British dialect], crock [dialect]
Near Antonymsdecontaminate, purge, purify; disinfect, sanitize; brush, dry-clean, dust, launder, mop, rinse, scour, scrub, sweep, wash, wipe; brighten, deodorize, freshen, renew, spruce (up); straighten (up), tidy (up)
BESMIRCH Defined for English Language Learners
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