from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To dull the luster of; discolor, especially by exposure to air or dirt.
- transitive v. To detract from or spoil; taint: a tragedy that tarnished our hopes.
- transitive v. To cast aspersions on; sully: slander that tarnished the senator's image.
- intransitive v. To lose luster; become discolored.
- intransitive v. To diminish or become tainted.
- n. The condition of being tarnished.
- n. Discoloration of a metal surface caused by corrosion or oxidation.
- n. The condition of being sullied or tainted.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Oxidation or discoloration, especially of a decorative metal exposed to air.
- v. To oxidize or discolor due to oxidation.
- v. To soil, sully, damage or compromise
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The quality or state of being tarnished; stain; soil; blemish.
- n. A thin film on the surface of a metal, usually due to a slight alteration of the original color.
- intransitive v. To lose luster; to become dull.
- transitive v. To soil, or change the appearance of, especially by an alternation induced by the air, or by dust, or the like; to diminish, dull, or destroy the luster of; to sully.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To diminish or destroy the luster of; sully; dull: used of an alteration induced by the air, or by dust or dampness; also, in mineralogy, to change the natural color or luster of the surface of: said chiefly of the metallic minerals. See tarnish, n., 2.
- To give a pale or dim cast to, as to gold or silver, without either polishing or burnishing it.
- Figuratively, to diminish or destroy the purity of; cast a stain upon; sully: as, to tarnish reputation.
- Synonyms To dull, deface.
- To lose luster; become dim or dull: as, polished substances or gilding will tarnish in the course of time.
- n. A spot; a blot; the condition of being dulled or stained.
- n. In mineralogy, the change in luster or color of the surface of a mineral, particularly one of metallic luster: usually due to slight alteration, but also in some cases to the deposition of a very thin film of some foreign substance.
- n. A coating.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. discoloration of metal surface caused by oxidation
- v. make dirty or spotty, as by exposure to air; also used metaphorically
I used to love doing it and if the tarnish is on it and the glow goes off it, you can kind of walk away for a while.
The discol-oration on silver and copper that we call tarnish is a metal-sulfur compound; the sulfur comes mainly from air pollution.
Alan was well enough pleased to see his finery so fully remembered and set down; only when he came to the word tarnish, he looked upon his lace like one a little mortified.
But the real damage Palin's July 3rd declaration of independence from her job has will long outlast the short term tarnish of a news cycle.
Furthermore, how exactly would a Martin loss "tarnish" Obama's big win?
I contest the idea that a rough Democratic nomination fight would "tarnish" the eventual winner.
Did that kind of tarnish that great image and idea that everybody had of Gerald Ford?
The spin in such words as 'tarnish' and 'soften' is plain as a pikestaff.
In yesterday's issue of the British periodical Guardian Unlimited, it was suggested that the hammer has yet to fall because the Vatican did not wish to "tarnish" World Youth Day or, more broadly, sabatoge its so-far-successful effort to "soften" the image of the man called by many—and not always with affection—"The German Shepherd."
Ed Kosner, would you have paid for the American equivalent of such a story, and does the checkbook journalism involved in kind of tarnish what Burrell is saying?
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.