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

Synonyms for blemish

Synonym study

3. See defect.

Antonyms for blemish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unblemished

Contemporary Examples of unblemished

Historical Examples of unblemished

  • Despite the tenderness of her poetry and her character, her reputation was unblemished.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • He was an old man, but he had always maintained an unblemished character.

    The Boat Club

    Oliver Optic

  • Bender was the pink of propriety and a dog of unblemished reputation.

    When Life Was Young

    C. A. Stephens

  • Did not Hector burn you thigh-bones of heifers and of unblemished goats?

  • He was a man of unblemished character, and was not too haughty to have fun sometimes.

British Dictionary definitions for unblemished



not blemished or tarnished in any way



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

Word Origin and History for unblemished

c.1300, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of blemish. Originally in moral sense; material sense is attested from mid-15c.



early 14c., "to hurt, damage," from Old French blemiss- "to turn pale," extended stem of blemir, blesmir "to make pale; stain, discolor," also "to injure" (13c., Modern French blêmir), probably from Frankish *blesmjan "to cause to turn pale," or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *blas "shining, white," from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)).

The order of appearance of senses in Middle English is "hurt, damage;" "impair morally, sully" (late 14c.); "mar, spoil, injure" (early 15c.); "to mar the beauty or soundness of" (mid-15c.). Related: Blemished; blemishing.



1520s, from blemish (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unblemished in Medicine




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.