Definition of tarnish in English:
- It can tarnish silverware and discolor copper and brass utensils.
- The still waters have lost their clarity, tarnished by the ominous clouds that overhang the harbour.
- Once upon a time it had been gilded, but now the gilding seemed to be tarnishing and flaking - evidently no one came in here to touch up these days.
- But all the gold and the glory will be tarnished if basic rights - including free speech - are lacking.
- In science, reputation is all and it is easily tarnished.
- But that also might be a result of canny marketing: no sponsor would wish her to tarnish her image by playing in - and perhaps losing - too many tournaments.
noun[mass noun] Back to top
- Silver can be oxidized to give the effect of tarnish, and this coloration was popular in Europe and North America during the 19th century, when it was also produced by using sulphurs.
- I held my memories like treasures in a vault and polished them well, terrified that unless I tended them daily they would disappear under the tarnish of time.
- That'll take the tarnish off any glamorous finish!
- They help dissolve hard water deposits from shower doors, mild rust stains and soap film and remove tarnish from brass and copper.
- To remove heavy tarnish, difficult stains and corrosion: wash in hot, soapy water or a weak ammonia and water solution and rinse.
- They physically scratch off dirt, stains and tarnish via friction as you rub the surface.
- Will he ask the World Economic Forum to release the tape to help clear the air and remove the unfair tarnish?
- Will the tarnish of this film ever wipe off his movie career?
- Admittedly, there's nothing wrong with her performance - it's heartfelt and appealing - but this kind of work is unlikely to remove the tarnish on her reputation.
late Middle English (as a verb): from French terniss-, lengthened stem of ternir, from terne 'dark, dull'.
Silver that is not polished will tarnish, losing its lustre. The word goes back to French terne ‘dark, dull’. The metaphorical use, ‘to make less valuable or respected’, has been established since the 17th century. In 1805, on the eve of the Battle of Trafalgar, Lord Nelson prayed that God might grant them ‘a great and glorious victory; and may no misconduct in anyone tarnish it’.
- Example sentences
- Zinc is a white, lustrous, tarnishable metal which has a relatively low abundance in nature.
- Of course any band name is tarnishable if the quality control goes.
- Optionally, and particularly when a tarnishable metal or alloy is used, for example silver, a tarnish inhibiting composition is included in the mixture of metallic and plastics particles.
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