tarnish Definition

  • 1lose or cause to lose luster, especially as a result of exposure to air or moisture
  • 2damage or harm the good quality or reputation of something

Using tarnish: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "tarnish" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The silver had tarnished and needed cleaning.

  • Example

    The scandal tarnished his reputation.

  • Example

    The company's image was tarnished by the product recall.

tarnish Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for tarnish

Antonyms for tarnish

Phrases with tarnish

  • to damage or harm the good quality or reputation of someone or something


    The politician's scandal tarnished his reputation.

  • tarnish-resistant

    not easily losing luster or becoming discolored


    The jewelry was made with tarnish-resistant materials.

  • a substance used to clean or remove tarnish from metal surfaces


    She used a tarnish remover to clean the silverware.

Origins of tarnish

from Old French 'tarniss-', stem of 'tarnir', meaning 'to dull the luster of'


Summary: tarnish in Brief

The verb 'tarnish' [ˈtɑːnɪʃ] refers to losing luster due to exposure to air or moisture, or damaging the good quality or reputation of something. It is often used in the context of metals, as in 'The silver had tarnished and needed cleaning,' but can also refer to reputations, as in 'The scandal tarnished his reputation.' 'Tarnish' can be used in phrases like 'tarnish-resistant' and 'tarnish remover.'