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[smurch] /smɜrtʃ/
verb (used with object)
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
First recorded in 1485-95; origin uncertain
Related forms
smirchless, adjective
unsmirched, adjective
1. smear, smut, dirty. 2. taint, blot. 3. smudge, smut, smutch. 4. taint.
1. clean. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unsmirched
Historical Examples
  • Her code was intact; her honour, as judged by it, unsmirched.

    Mrs. Maxon Protests Anthony Hope
  • But then these two are simple believers, with humble, unsmirched souls.

    L-bas J. K. Huysmans
  • Simplicity, healthy goodness, the radiance of unsmirched youth seemed to his eyes wholly inexpressive.

    December Love Robert Hichens
  • Is nothing to be considered sacred; nothing to be left untouched, unsmirched by the grimy fingers of improvement?

    The Spell of Egypt Robert Hichens
  • Her abductor got no pleasure of her and Omar's honour was unsmirched—though he never knew it, poor devil.

  • Throughout an epoch which laid bare the meanness of most natures, his character was unsmirched.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • I had pawned my last winter's furs, but my character seemed quite clean and unsmirched.

    The Fifth Wheel Olive Higgins Prouty
  • A divorced wife can run soup-kitchens and fever hospitals just as well as the most unsmirched woman of the world.

    Adrienne Toner Anne Douglas Sedgwick
  • Such a story as the newspapers would revel in would not be a recommendation to Englishmen of unsmirched reputation.

    The Shuttle Frances Hodgson Burnett
British Dictionary definitions for unsmirched


verb (transitive)
to dirty; soil
the act of smirching or state of being smirched
a smear or stain
Derived Forms
smircher, noun
Word Origin
C15 smorchen, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unsmirched



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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