- to make dirty or discolor as by smearing or staining with grime
- to sully or dishonor (a reputation, good name, etc.)
Origin of smirchMiddle English smorchen, probably from Old French esmorcher, to hurt from es- ( from Classical Latin ex), intensive + pp. of mordre, to bite, hurt: see mordant
- a smudge; smear; stain
- a stain on a reputation, etc.
transitive verbsmirched, smirch·ing, smirch·es
- To soil, stain, or dirty with or as if with a smearing agent: “their tough, hostile faces, smirched by the grime and rust” ( Henry Roth )
- To dishonor; defame.
Origin of smirchMiddle English smorchen
- (of a reputation) Stain
(third-person singular simple present smirches, present participle smirching, simple past and past participle smirched)
Attested since the 15th Century CE; possibly from Old French esmorcher (“to torture"), from Latin morsus (“bitten").