- to destroy or diminish the perfection of: The book is blemished by those long, ineffective descriptions.
- a mark that detracts from appearance, as a pimple or a scar.
- a defect or flaw; stain; blight: a blemish on his record.
Origin of blemish
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for blemish
He blamed the abortion and the late night for this blemish on his otherwise almost perfect 1974 season.Jimmy Connors Memoir Shows He Wasn’t Misunderstood, He Was Just a Jerk
May 14, 2013
There is not a blemish in mind or person at which the proudest of you all would sicken.The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
It had a blemish, in the nature of currant jelly, on its chin; and was a thirsty child.The Uncommercial Traveller
Malignity is seldom at a loss for some blemish to point out.
You have won a great prize, a ruby without a blemish; value it, cherish it.Nell, of Shorne Mills
For this blemish, however, he was more to be pitied than blamed.History of the Moravian Church
J. E. Hutton
- a defect; flaw; stain
- (tr) to flaw the perfection of; spoil; tarnish
Word Origin and History for blemish
early 14c., "to hurt, damage," from Old French blemiss- "to turn pale," extended stem of blemir, blesmir "to make pale; stain, discolor," also "to injure" (13c., Modern French blêmir), probably from Frankish *blesmjan "to cause to turn pale," or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *blas "shining, white," from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)).
The order of appearance of senses in Middle English is "hurt, damage;" "impair morally, sully" (late 14c.); "mar, spoil, injure" (early 15c.); "to mar the beauty or soundness of" (mid-15c.). Related: Blemished; blemishing.
1520s, from blemish (v.).
- A small circumscribed alteration of the skin considered to be unesthetic but insignificant.