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tarnish

[tahr-nish] /ˈtɑr nɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to dull the luster of (a metallic surface), especially by oxidation; discolor.
2.
to diminish or destroy the purity of; stain; sully:
The scandal tarnished his reputation.
verb (used without object)
3.
to grow dull or discolored; lose luster.
4.
to become sullied.
noun
5.
a tarnished coating.
6.
tarnished condition; discoloration; alteration of the luster of a metal.
7.
a stain or blemish.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Middle French terniss-, long stem of ternir to dull, deaden, derivative of terne dull, wan < Germanic; compare Old High German tarni, cognate with Old Saxon derni, Old English dierne hidden, obscure; see -ish2
Related forms
tarnishable, adjective
antitarnish, adjective
antitarnishing, adjective
nontarnishable, adjective
nontarnished, adjective
nontarnishing, adjective
untarnishable, adjective
untarnished, adjective
untarnishing, adjective
Synonyms
2. taint, blemish, soil.
Antonyms
1. brighten.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for tarnishing
  • But with that staggering increase in demand for services come myths that are tarnishing the purpose of the welfare system.
  • Some manufacturers offer special coatings on metal finishes to prevent scratches or tarnishing.
  • In another controlled chamber, the team heats a coated wafer to speed up the tarnishing.
  • Acid-etching sometimes comes close, but it usually roughens the surface and starts re-tarnishing quickly.
  • Paying bills late or otherwise tarnishing your reputation.
  • Again, they mention the potential for tarnishing if there is no solder on the pads.
  • People rarely approach the subject in fear of tarnishing a reputation.
British Dictionary definitions for tarnishing

tarnish

/ˈtɑːnɪʃ/
verb
1.
to lose or cause to lose the shine, esp by exposure to air or moisture resulting in surface oxidation; discolour: silver tarnishes quickly
2.
to stain or become stained; taint or spoil: a fraud that tarnished his reputation
noun
3.
a tarnished condition, surface, or film
Derived Forms
tarnishable, adjective
tarnisher, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French ternir to make dull, from terne lustreless, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German tarnen to conceal, Old English dierne hidden
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for tarnishing

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.

n.

1713, from tarnish (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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