Tarnish Definition

tarnished, tarnishes, tarnishing
tarnished, tarnishes, tarnishing
To dull the luster of or discolor the surface of (a metal) as by exposure to air.
Webster's New World
To become sullied, soiled, spoiled, marred, etc.
Webster's New World
To spoil, mar, or debase.
To tarnish a memory.
Webster's New World
To besmirch or sully (a reputation, honor, etc.)
Webster's New World
To lose luster; grow dull; discolor, as from oxidation.
Webster's New World
The condition of being tarnished; dullness.
Webster's New World
The film of discoloration on the surface of tarnished metal.
Webster's New World
A stain; blemish.
Webster's New World
The condition of being disgraced or made less estimable.
The tarnish on his reputation.
American Heritage

Origin of Tarnish

  • From Middle French terniss-, stem of ternir (“to make dull, deaden, tarnish"), from Old French ternir (“to make dim, make wan"), from Frankish *tarnjan (“to cover up, conceal, hide"), from Proto-Germanic *darnijanÄ… (“to conceal"), from Proto-Indo-European *dher(ǝ)-, *dhrÄ“- (“to hold, hold tight, support"). Cognate with Old High German *tarnjan, tarnen (“to hide, cover up, conceal") (Modern German tarnen), Old English dyrnan, diernan (“to keep secret, conceal, hide, restrain, repress"). More at dern, darn.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English ternisshen from Old French ternir terniss- to dull from terne dull of Germanic origin

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition


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