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
Over the last several days, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department and its union have begun a smear campaign aimed at demonizing and besmirching the character of Michael Bennett.
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.
When the humans had first started to besmirch the Earth with the things, Qumqam had thought them hideous.
In his new, social media focused novel Purity, Jonathan Franzen suggests that beauty exists on the internet to be hated and besmirched.
Trump and others have suggested that keeling during the national anthem besmirches the sacrifice of members of the military.
Cosby Attorney Angela C. Agrusa Takes on Constand Cosby’s lawyers wasted no time on Tuesday in their ongoing attempts to besmirch Constand’s character.
China’s government often charges its critics with apparently unconnected crimes that seem intended to besmirch their reputations.
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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