[ blem-ish ]
/ ˈblɛm ɪʃ /

verb (used with object)

to destroy or diminish the perfection of: The book is blemished by those long, ineffective descriptions.


a mark that detracts from appearance, as a pimple or a scar.
a defect or flaw; stain; blight: a blemish on his record.

Origin of blemish

1275–1325; Middle English (v.) < Anglo-French, Middle French blemiss-, long stem of ble(s)mir to make livid, perhaps < Old Low Franconian *blesmjan; see blaze2

Related forms

blem·ish·er, nounun·blem·ished, adjectiveun·blem·ish·ing, adjective

Synonym study

3. See defect. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for blemish

British Dictionary definitions for blemish


/ (ˈblɛmɪʃ) /


a defect; flaw; stain


(tr) to flaw the perfection of; spoil; tarnish

Word Origin for blemish

C14: from Old French blemir to make pale, probably of Germanic 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

Medicine definitions for blemish


[ blĕmĭsh ]


A small circumscribed alteration of the skin considered to be unesthetic but insignificant.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.