Word of the DaySunday, June 29, 2014
\smurch\ , verb;
to discolor or soil; spot or smudge with or as with soot, dust, dirt, etc.
to sully or tarnish (a person, reputation, character, etc.); disgrace; discredit.
a dirty mark or smear, as of soot, dust, dirt, etc.
a stain or blot, as on reputation.
…that he could not give him back his life without incurring the smirch of this disgrace, without even endangering himself.
-- John Galsworthy, The First and the Last, 1919
...Rupert Hentzau had him soundly flogged for daring to smirch the morals of Zenda by staying out all night in the pursuits of love.
-- Anthony Hope, Rupert of Hentzau, 1895
Smirch has been around in English since the late 1400s. Its origins are uncertain, though it may have come from the Old French esmorcher meaning "to torment" or "torture."
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