[ bih-smurch ]
See synonyms for: besmirchbesmirched on

verb (used with object)
  1. to soil; tarnish; discolor.

  2. to detract from the honor or luster of: to besmirch someone's good name.

Origin of besmirch

First recorded in 1590–1600; be- + smirch

Other words for besmirch

Other words from besmirch

  • be·smirch·er, noun
  • un·be·smirched, adjective

Words Nearby besmirch Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use besmirch in a sentence

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for besmirch


/ (bɪˈsmɜːtʃ) /

  1. to make dirty; soil

  2. to reduce the brightness or lustre of

  1. 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