- Tarnish is defined as to spoil or to discolor the surface of a piece of metal.
An example of to tarnish is to expose silver to sulfur and air.
Tarnished silver spurs.
tarnish definition by Webster's New World
- to dull the luster of or discolor the surface of (a metal) as by exposure to air
- to besmirch or sully (a reputation, honor, etc.)
- to spoil, mar, or debase: to tarnish a memory
Origin: ; from French terniss-, inflectional stem of ternir, to make dim ; from Middle French probably ; from Old High German tarnjan, to conceal ; from tarni, hidden
- to lose luster; grow dull; discolor, as from oxidation
- to become sullied, soiled, spoiled, marred, etc.
- the condition of being tarnished; dullness
- the film of discoloration on the surface of tarnished metal
- a stain; blemish
- tarnishable adjective
tarnish definition by American Heritage Dictionary
verb tar·nished, tar·nish·ing, tar·nish·es verb, transitive
- To dull the luster of; discolor, especially by exposure to air or dirt.
- a. To detract from or spoil; taint: a tragedy that tarnished our hopes.b. To cast aspersions on; sully: slander that tarnished the senator's image.
- To lose luster; become discolored.
- To diminish or become tainted.
- The condition of being tarnished.
- Discoloration of a metal surface caused by corrosion or oxidation.
- The condition of being sullied or tainted.
Origin: Middle English ternisshen, from Old French ternir, terniss-, to dull, from terne, dull, of Germanic origin.
- tarˈnish·a·ble adjective