besmirch was our Word of the Day on 03/14/2017. Hear the podcast!
Examples of besmirch in a sentence
inconsiderately besmirched the white bedsheets with their dirty feet
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
BESMIRCH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of besmirch for English Language Learners
: to cause harm or damage to (the reputation of someone or something)
Seen and Heard
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