blem·​ish | \ ˈble-mish How to pronounce blemish (audio) \
blemished; blemishing; blemishes

Definition of blemish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to spoil by a flaw



Definition of blemish (Entry 2 of 2)

: a noticeable imperfection especially : one that seriously impairs appearance

Examples of blemish in a Sentence

Verb A series of burn marks blemish the table's surface. The incident blemished his reputation. Noun The cream is supposed to prevent blemishes on the skin. The table had a few scratches and minor blemishes. The book fails to mention any of the organization's many blemishes. The incident was a blemish on his record. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While liquid is simmering, peel the pears, leaving the stem intact and being careful not to blemish the flesh of the pears. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 8 Dec. 2021 But Paul’s latest shortcoming and his uncertain playoff future should not blemish an otherwise impeccable basketball résumé. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, 21 July 2021 And while some have sought therapy or medications to cope, others fear that engaging in these support systems could blemish their records and dissuade future employers from hiring them. New York Times, 25 Nov. 2020 For his part, Hinch defended his players' talents but acknowledged the clubhouse put itself in a position where its achievements may be blemished. Editors, USA TODAY, 7 Feb. 2020 Such a policy would ensure that individuals did not emerge from this crisis burdened with debts and blemished credit Renters need help, too. Sendhil Mullainathan, New York Times, 19 Mar. 2020 Skin lighteners generate a less painted look than skin whiteners by removing rather than concealing blemished or melanin-rich skin. Lynn M. Thomas, Quartz Africa, 9 Mar. 2020 Fort Scott takes blemished bullets from their production line and turns them into Bullet Bait, a run of handmade fishing lures. Matthew Every, Outdoor Life, 11 Feb. 2020 The incident served as the catalyst for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s request that the then-Obama Justice Department examine the department’s blemished history of unconstitutional policing practices. Evan Macdonald, cleveland, 24 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The only blemish on LAFC's record was a road loss to crosstown rival, Los Angeles Galaxy. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, 23 Apr. 2022 For a while, its lone blemish was a double-overtime loss to Connecticut in November as the Tigers went on a 19-game winning streak. Joel Lorenzi, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Mar. 2022 His only blemish was a walk to Ryan Kreidler in the third. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 21 Mar. 2022 His only blemish came in the sixth when Jake McCool scored as part 0f a double steal with Caleb Horsey. Chip Souza, Arkansas Online, 15 Mar. 2022 The Cavaliers finish out 28-1 with their lone blemish coming to Division II Summit Country Day early in the season. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, 12 Mar. 2022 Perhaps the only blemish for the Beavers on Saturday came in the final inning, when three Oregon State relievers allowed five runs to spoil the shutout. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, 19 Feb. 2022 No team had finished its regular season without a blemish since Missouri did it in 2013. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 17 Dec. 2021 Using blackhead removal masks too frequently can irritate the skin, and that's the last thing anyone wants to deal with when going up against a blemish. Jasmine Washington, Seventeen, 24 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blemish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of blemish


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1535, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for blemish


Middle English blemisshen, to damage, injure, sully, from Anglo-French blemiss-, stem of blemir, blesmir, from Old French, literally, to make pale by wounding, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German blasros horse with a blaze, Old Norse blesi blaze — more at blaze

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The first known use of blemish was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Blemish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for blemish


blem·​ish | \ ˈblem-ish How to pronounce blemish (audio) \

Kids Definition of blemish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a mark that makes something imperfect : an unwanted mark on a surface


blemished; blemishing

Kids Definition of blemish (Entry 2 of 2)

: to spoil by or as if by an ugly mark A scratch blemished the table. The loss blemished their record.


blem·​ish | \ ˈblem-ish How to pronounce blemish (audio) \

Medical Definition of blemish

: a mark of physical deformity or injury: as
a : any small mark on the skin (as a pimple or birthmark) blemishes symptomatic of acne
b : a defect of an animal (as a horse) that detracts from its appearance but does not interfere with its usefulness

More from Merriam-Webster on blemish

Nglish: Translation of blemish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blemish for Arabic Speakers


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