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Definition of "tarnish" []

  • To dull the luster of; discolor, especially by exposure to air or dirt. (verb-transitive)
  • To detract from or spoil; taint: a tragedy that tarnished our hopes. (verb-transitive)
  • To cast aspersions on; sully: slander that tarnished the senator's image. (verb-transitive)
  • To lose luster; become discolored. (verb-intransitive)
  • To diminish or become tainted. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "tarnish" in a sentence
  • "I used to love doing it and if the tarnish is on it and the glow goes off it, you can kind of walk away for a while."
  • "The discol-oration on silver and copper that we call tarnish is a metal-sulfur compound; the sulfur comes mainly from air pollution."
  • "Alan was well enough pleased to see his finery so fully remembered and set down; only when he came to the word tarnish, he looked upon his lace like one a little mortified."