- to dull the luster of (a metallic surface), especially by oxidation; discolor.
- to diminish or destroy the purity of; stain; sully: The scandal tarnished his reputation.
- to grow dull or discolored; lose luster.
- to become sullied.
- a tarnished coating.
- tarnished condition; discoloration; alteration of the luster of a metal.
- a stain or blemish.
Origin of tarnish
Synonyms for tarnish
Antonyms for tarnish
Examples from the Web for untarnishable
Historical Examples of untarnishable
- to lose or cause to lose the shine, esp by exposure to air or moisture resulting in surface oxidation; discoloursilver tarnishes quickly
- to stain or become stained; taint or spoila fraud that tarnished his reputation
- a tarnished condition, surface, or film
Word Origin for tarnish
1713, from tarnish (v.).
1590s, from present participle stem of Middle French ternir "dull the luster or brightness of, make dim" (15c.), probably from Old French terne (adj.) "dull, dark," from a Germanic source cognate with Old High German tarnjan "to conceal, hide," Old English dyrnan "to hide, darken," from Proto-Germanic *darnjaz (see dern). Figurative sense is from 1690s. Related: Tarnished; tarnishing.