1

tarnish

verb tar·nish \ ˈtär-nish \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of tarnish

transitive verb
1 :to dull or destroy the luster of by or as if by air, dust, or dirt :soil, stain
2 a :to detract from the good quality of :vitiate
  • his fine dreams now slightly tarnished
b :to bring disgrace on :sully
  • the scandal has tarnished his reputation
intransitive verb
:to become tarnished

tarnishable

play \-ni-shə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of tarnish in a Sentence

  1. Some foods will tarnish silver.

  2. The scandal tarnished his reputation.

Recent Examples of tarnish from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of tarnish

Middle English ternysshen, from Middle French terniss-, stem of ternir, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German tarnan to hide


2

tarnish

noun

Definition of tarnish

:something that tarnishes; especially :a film of chemically altered material on the surface of a metal (such as silver)

Examples of tarnish in a Sentence

  1. a polish that removes tarnish

Recent Examples of tarnish from the Web

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

First Known Use of tarnish

1684

Other Metals and Metallurgy Terms


TARNISH Defined for English Language Learners

tarnish

verb

Definition of tarnish for English Language Learners

  • : to become or cause (metal) to become dull and not shiny

  • : to damage or ruin the good quality of (something, such as a person's reputation, image, etc.)


tarnish

noun

Definition of tarnish for English Language Learners

  • : a thin layer on the surface of metal which makes the metal look dull


TARNISH Defined for Kids

1

tarnish

verb tar·nish \ ˈtär-nish \

Definition of tarnish for Students

tarnished; tarnishing
1 :to make or become dull, dim, or discolored
2 :to bring disgrace or ruin
  • The scandal tarnished his reputation.

2

tarnish

noun

Definition of tarnish for Students

:a surface coating formed during tarnishing


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to praise usually to excess

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