verb (used with object), sullied, sullying.
to soil, stain, or tarnish.
to mar the purity or luster of; defile: to sully a reputation.
verb (used without object), sullied, sullying.
to become sullied, soiled, or tarnished.
noun, plural sullies.
Obsolete. a stain; soil.

1585–95; origin uncertain

sulliable, adjective
unsulliable, adjective
unsullied, adjective

1. taint, blemish, contaminate. 2. dirty, disgrace, dishonor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sully (ˈsʌlɪ)
vb , -lies, -lying, -lied
1.  to stain or tarnish (a reputation, etc) or (of a reputation) to become stained or tarnished
n , -lies, -lying, -lied, -lies
2.  a stain
3.  the act of sullying
[C16: probably from French souiller to soil]

Sully (ˈsʌlɪ, French sylli)
Maximilien de Béthune (maksimiljɛ̃ də betyn), Duc de Sully. 1559--1641, French statesman; minister of Henry IV. He helped restore the finances of France after the Wars of Religion

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1571 (implied in sulliedness), probably from M.Fr. souiller, from O.Fr. souillier "make dirty" (see soil (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Brady's reputation as the clutchest of clutch playoff quarterbacks is sullied
  after three straight playoff losses.
Methods, theories, entire disciplines get needlessly sullied.
The last thing the image makers want is a sullied picture.
Stories about his dictatorial management style have sullied his reputation.
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