verb (used with object)
  1. to discolor or soil; spot or smudge with or as with soot, dust, dirt, etc.
  2. to sully or tarnish (a person, reputation, character, etc.); disgrace; discredit.
  1. a dirty mark or smear, as of soot, dust, dirt, etc.
  2. a stain or blot, as on reputation.

Origin of smirch

First recorded in 1485–95; origin uncertain
Related formssmirch·less, adjectiveun·smirched, adjective

Synonyms for smirch

Antonyms for smirch

1. clean. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unsmirched

Historical Examples of unsmirched

  • Her code was intact; her honour, as judged by it, unsmirched.

  • But then these two are simple believers, with humble, unsmirched souls.


    J. K. Huysmans

  • Simplicity, healthy goodness, the radiance of unsmirched youth seemed to his eyes wholly inexpressive.

    December Love

    Robert Hichens

  • Is nothing to be considered sacred; nothing to be left untouched, unsmirched by the grimy fingers of improvement?

    The Spell of Egypt

    Robert Hichens

  • Her abductor got no pleasure of her and Omar's honour was unsmirched—though he never knew it, poor devil.

British Dictionary definitions for unsmirched


verb (tr)
  1. to dirty; soil
  1. the act of smirching or state of being smirched
  2. a smear or stain
Derived Formssmircher, noun

Word Origin for smirch

C15 smorchen, of unknown 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 unsmirched



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper