to soil; tarnish; discolor.
to detract from the honor or luster of: to besmirch someone's good name.
- be·smirch·er, noun
- un·be·smirched, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use besmirch in a sentence
While Couric included some of Ginsburg’s criticism in the finished product, she decided to leave out that particular barb, concerned that it would besmirch the reputation of someone she was a “fan” of.Here are the juiciest parts of Katie Couric’s new tell-all book | | October 18, 2021 | Washington Post
Before Sullivan, states maintained strict libel laws in an attempt to protect individuals’ reputations in their community from being besmirched unfairly.A major Supreme Court First Amendment decision could be at risk | Samantha Barbas | July 13, 2021 | Washington Post
And I would never besmirch her reputation by suggesting that she had.
I hate to besmirch the reputation of an innocent dog, but a lot of time her personality is like a rabid pit bull.Billy Sammeth, the Manager Fired by Cher and Joan Rivers, Tells His Side of the Story | Kevin Sessums | February 14, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
If anyone is working round the clock to besmirch the reputation of Pit Bulls it is Pit Bulls themselves.
His Pucelle is a diabolical attempt to besmirch the pure character of Joan of Arc.The War Upon Religion | Rev. Francis A. Cunningham
I will idealise you until you besmirch yourself—but you are no child, to do that unknowingly.The Barrier | Allen French
She had remained silent that she might not besmirch her father's name, and also, perhaps, that she might protect the other woman.The Holladay Case | Burton E. Stevenson
Soil it—yes; besmirch it, render it superficially unclean, unfit, nauseous—yes.The Younger Set | Robert W. Chambers
He had come to Italy to redeem the name of the house of Gobignon, not besmirch it further.The Saracen: The Holy War | Robert Shea
British Dictionary definitions for besmirch
to make dirty; soil
to reduce the brightness or lustre of
to sully (often in the phrase besmirch (a person's) name)
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