Definition of besmirch in English:

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Pronunciation: /bəˈsmərCH/


[with object]
1Damage the reputation of (someone or something) in the opinion of others: he had besmirched the good name of his family
More example sentences
  • The case has shown how easy it is for a hard-working and respected professional to have their name and reputation besmirched by one wild accusation.
  • That would be truly despicable of the Senate to allow his reputation to be permanently besmirched.
  • At no stage did any of these worthies think it necessary to do some fact-checking before besmirching the reputation of a former cabinet officer.
sully, tarnish, blacken, drag through the mud/mire, stain, taint, smear, disgrace, dishonor, bring discredit to, damage, debase, ruin;
slander, malign, defame
literary besmear, smirch
archaic breathe on
1.1 literary Make (something) dirty or discolored: the ground was besmirched with blood
More example sentences
  • He should be besmirched with smoke, grime, and the most rancid of grease.
  • His body was bruised, his hands were bleeding, and his rags were all besmirched with mud.
  • The insensitive Jane firmly replied that she had “no use for a husband with a flat head, a half-naked body and copper-colored skin besmirched with whale oil."


From be- + smirch.

Words that rhyme with besmirch

birch, church, lurch, perch, search, smirch

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: be·smirch

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