See more synonyms for besmirch on

Origin of besmirch

First recorded in 1590–1600; be- + smirch
Related formsbe·smirch·er, nounun·be·smirched, adjective

Synonyms for besmirch

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for besmirched

defile, slander, blacken, dishonor, smear, soil, stain, blot, smudge, discolor

Examples from the Web for besmirched

Contemporary Examples of besmirched

Historical Examples of besmirched

  • He hinted to Robert that Susan's history was besmirched with shame.

    A Handful of Stars

    Frank W. Boreham

  • The walls were bare and besmirched, and upon them were several mottoes and placards.

    The Quest

    Frederik van Eeden

  • For as yet machinery and reeking factories had not besmirched the country-side.

    Mary Anerley

    R. D. Blackmore

  • These do fear lest they be besmirched by fellowship with the mean and ailing.

    Star of Mercia

    Blanche Devereux

  • I know, mother, that the people's souls are foul and besmirched.


    Maksim Gorky

British Dictionary definitions for besmirched


verb (tr)
  1. to make dirty; soil
  2. to reduce the brightness or lustre of
  3. 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

Word Origin and History for besmirched



1590s, from be- + smirch.

Our Gayness and our Gilt are all besmyrcht. ["Henry V," IV.iii.110]

Related: Besmirched; besmirching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper