- to discolor or soil; spot or smudge with or as with soot, dust, dirt, etc.
- to sully or tarnish (a person, reputation, character, etc.); disgrace; discredit.
- a dirty mark or smear, as of soot, dust, dirt, etc.
- a stain or blot, as on reputation.
Origin of smirch
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for smirch
One could never detect a smirch or a grain of dust upon them.A Tramp Abroad, Complete
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Every time he looked at me 'twas as if he saw a smirch on his escutcheon.The Rake's Progress
Nothing is too fine for some devils to appropriate and––smirch.At the Crossroads
Harriet T. Comstock
He can soil it, but except himself the whole world cannot smirch it.From the Easy Chair, series 3
George William Curtis
"I thought the Smirch Society had staked out that claim," said Cam.Telempathy
- to dirty; soil
- the act of smirching or state of being smirched
- a smear or stain
Word Origin and History for smirch
late 15c., "to discolor, to make dirty," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old French esmorcher "to torture," perhaps also "befoul, stain," from es- "out" (see ex-) + morcher "to bite," from Latin morsus, past participle of mordere "to bite" (see mordant). Sense perhaps influenced by smear. Sense of "dishonor, disgrace, discredit" first attested 1820.
1680s, "a soiling mark or smear," from smirch (v.). Figurative use by 1862.