verb (used with object)
Origin of smirch
Examples from the Web for smirch
But by-and-by it may all be used to smirch or brighten unjustly some one's character.The Complete Essays of C. D. Warner|Charles Dudley Warner
Dorothy had loved a coronet with such fervor that she had been able to abandon everything that could smirch it.The Early Life and Adventures of Sylvia Scarlett|Compton Mackenzie
It preserves a very soft and pleasant effect; indeed, one feels sure it will smirch if rubbed.American Book-Plates|Charles Dexter Allen
It was a foul deed to seek to shame me in this ugly fashion, and to smirch the honour of the Queen.French Mediaeval Romances from the Lays of Marie de France|Marie de France
Her first impulse was of decorum--to jerk her skirts about her in seemly fashion and be certain that no smirch adhered to them.The Power and the Glory|Grace MacGowan Cooke
Word Origin for smirch
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.