1 of 2


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

transitive verb

: to spoil by a flaw


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
Despite providing the complexion with tons of hydration, this skincare formula still feels lightweight enough for acne-prone skin and would make an excellent option for those with dry yet blemished skin. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 18 Jan. 2024 The launch failure Tuesday blemishes what had been a strong couple of years of technical accomplishment for Rocket Lab's launch business. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 19 Sep. 2023 Concrete patios are durable, inexpensive, and low-maintenance, but dirt, debris, and food can blemish these tough surfaces over time. Nafeesah Allen, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Jan. 2024 Was it slightly blemished and therefore not purchased? Ryan Begin, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 At the same time, videos of men weeping are embedded in barber chair headrests, and a life-size, near-nude statue of a doleful San Lazaro, patron of healing, presides over all, buff of physique but blemished with sores. Holland Cotter, New York Times, 13 July 2023 The devices are used to help position the outfielders, and the coaches sometimes scuff out marks in the grass with their heels, blemishing the near-perfect sod. David Waldstein, New York Times, 20 June 2023 Neruda’s own reputation is already blemished, his considerable moral failings as a person having overshadowed the once-universal acclaim for his art. Ariel Dorfman, The Atlantic, 16 Feb. 2023 Corrigan added that such a narrow defeat in a conference title game didn't blemish the resume TCU already had in place. Michelle Gardner, The Arizona Republic, 4 Dec. 2022
Blackwood faced 13 shots on goal in the first period with the only blemish being a Nazem Kadri goal at the 4:19 mark. Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, 16 Feb. 2024 While Woods looked resplendent, his game revealed some blemishes. Jay Paris, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 These include blemishes on the stalks or buds that are dropping. Kimberly Holland, Southern Living, 9 Feb. 2024 The only blemish on that mark came last Friday, when a 2-0 third period lead at Michigan State became a 3-2 loss, with the Spartans scoring the game-winner in the final seconds. Jess Myers, Twin Cities, 2 Feb. 2024 Secondly, body blemishes are often deep and stubborn. Angela Palmer, Verywell Health, 17 Jan. 2024 Since then, she’s posted multiple close-up photos of her blemishes. Michelle Lee, Peoplemag, 5 Feb. 2024 But even with these obvious blemishes, there’s no denying that the 66th Annual Grammys was the most vital the awards have felt in some time. Andrew Unterberger, Billboard, 5 Feb. 2024 Peace Out Skincare Acne Dots Between the stagnant air on planes and general stress of travel, my skin often breaks out with unwelcomed blemishes all over my face. Alexandra Domrongchai, Travel + Leisure, 2 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'blemish.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1535, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near blemish

Cite this Entry

“Blemish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a mark that makes something imperfect
blemish verb

Medical Definition


blem·​ish ˈblem-ish How to pronounce blemish (audio)
: a mark of physical deformity or injury: as
: any small mark on the skin (as a pimple or birthmark)
blemishes symptomatic of acne
: 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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!