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Definition of tarnish:

  1. A thin film on the surface of a metal, usually due to a slight alteration of the original color; as, the steel tarnish in columbite.
  2. The quality or state of being tarnished; stain; soil; blemish.
  3. To lose luster; to become dull; as, gilding will tarnish in a foul air.
  4. 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; as, to tarnish a metal; to tarnish gilding; to tarnish the purity of color.

Synonyms:

bleach, poison, mellow, blacken someone's reputation/name/character, deepen, harm, vitiate, darken, disgrace, smut, bespatter, bruise, cloud, impair, injure, defile, asperse, better, detract from, fade, talk trash, embarrass, reproach, brighten, cast aspersions (on), injury, help, attack, spatter, onus, disserve, sully, lighten, respect, black eye, attaint, corrupt, prejudice, MARKS, clean, blur, dent, bleed, gray, daub, maculate, change, touch.

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